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MATCH PREVIEW: Stoke City vs Southampton

PUBLISHED

14:30 11th March 2016

Get the lowdown, team news and key stats ahead of Southampton's trip to Stoke City in the Barclays Premier League.

Setting the scene

Southampton will be looking for a return to winning ways when they travel to Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.

After a six-game unbeaten run ended against Chelsea, Ronald Koeman’s side have now gone three games without a win in the Barclays Premier League.

A last-gasp goal from Virgil van Dijk in the 1-1 draw with Sunderland AFC last time out lifted spirits, with Saints now coming up against one of their rivals for a European place.

The Potters, under the guidance of Mark Hughes, won 1-0 at St Mary’s earlier in the season thanks to an early goal from Spaniard Bojan.

Hughes’s side have continued to impress throughout the season, and head into the game on Saturday on a four-match unbeaten run, which has seen them rise above Saints to eighth in the table.

Last time out at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke came from behind to win 2-1 courtesy of goals from Mame Biram Diouf and Charlie Adam after Morgan Schneiderlin had opened the scoring.

Team news

Ronald Koeman has confirmed Shane Long is available again, but Charlie Austin, Jay Rodriguez and Florin Gardos will not be involved. José Fonte and Victor Wanyama are both suspended.

Ryan Shawcross and Charlie Adam are both back in contention for the hosts, but Glen Johnson, Phil Bardsley and Marc Wilson are all set to miss out.

Key man

Ten goals so far this season mean Marko Arnautović will be the man to watch out for this weekend at the Britannia Stadium.

The Austrian international, who joined Stoke City in 2013, has really impressed under Mark Hughes this season.

26-year-old Arnautović has proved a constant threat for opposing teams who visit Stoke, scoring in victories over Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.

His last big impact was in a 2-1 home win against Aston Villa in late February, with the winger linking up extremely well with Bojan and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Stat attack

The last four games have all been separated by a single goal, with Stoke winning twice and Saints winning twice over the last season-and-a-half.

Southampton’s last league win at the Britannia Stadium came in April 2006, with Grzegorz Rasiak scoring a brace in a 2-1 success.

The last time Stoke City did a league double over Southampton was during the 1967/68 season, when the Potters won 3-2 at home and 2-1 on the road.

Saints have kept three clean sheets in their last four away games, but have scored just 11 goals away from home all season.

Did you know?

England goalkeeping duo Fraser Forster and Jack Butland will go head-to-head this weekend. Butland has made the most saves in the league this season (98), while Forster has the best saves to shot-on-target ratio (81.5%). The two will be hoping to impress as they look to challenge Joe Hart for the number one shirt for their nation.

Follow the action 
Tickets have sold out for Southampton's trip to Stoke City.

You can follow all the action from Saturday's game via the club’s social media channels. We’ll have live updates on Twitter, goal updates on Facebook and a liveblog running on saintsfc.co.uk .

After the game, we’ll have reaction on youtube.com/southamptonfc, as well as saintsfc.co.uk .

#WeMarchOn

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