The last 13 meetings between the clubs have either been decided by a single goal or ended in a draw, and Hughes expects tomorrow’s contest at Britannia Stadium to be similarly tight.
“We’re up against a good Southampton team,” said the former Saints striker. "On their day they can be very similar to us – they can beat anybody, so it’s not an easy fixture, but, to be perfectly honest, when is it not that in the Premier League?
"We’re playing well, we got a lot of encouragement and belief from our performance against Chelsea (in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge last week), and our last two home games have been wins, so all in all we’re in good shape.
“I think we’re evenly matched. They’re a good side, they’ve got good talent, and on their day they’re strong enough to win a lot of games in the Premier League.
"It’s always a test when we go up against them. They will back themselves I’m sure. They will have a go and we certainly will, so it should be a good game."