Having failed to win in any of their last six Premier League games, Stoke City are currently one of the most out-of-form teams in the division. Their last result, a 3-2 loss away at Manchester United, may have provided hope for Potters’ fans, but it was the first time they had managed to score more than once this season.
In fact, Mark Hughes’ men are the joint-bottom scorers in the division, scoring just six goals and more alarmingly, just two goals at home. The Britannia is not the force it once was.
Southampton however, are proving to be a real force this year and boast the best defensive record in the Premier League. The Saints have conceded just three goals all season and never looked troubled in their last 2-0 victory against Fulham.
Whilst Rickie Lambert may have not quite hit the heights of last season’s form just yet, the England front-man managed to get on the scoresheet in the win against Fulham and could have quite easily scored a few more. Even with the possible return of Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, who faces a late fitness test, Manuel Pochettino is likely to start Lambert against a Stoke side who haven’t lost their physical prowess.
Whilst Southampton have had some excellent results away from home, including a 1-0 victory at Liverpool, their matches tend to lack goals when they are on the road. A 1-1 draw against Manchester United was the first time the Saints had been involved in an away match featuring more than one goal.
Pochettino’s side will no doubt be looking to soak up the pressure in the first hour and try and grab a winner towards the end of the match. It makes for another predictable low-scoring encounter.
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