Southampton v Stoke City preview – Three on the bounce for Saints
Two sides with good form clash at St Mary's on Saturday as Southampton host Stoke City
November 20th, 2015
Ronald Koeman will be eager to steer his side to a third successive league victory on Saturday afternoon, a record which has lifted the Saints to seventh in the Premier League table. Their last outing before the international break saw the side beat Sunderland 1-0 at the Stadium of Light, Dusan Tadic scoring the game’s only goal from the penalty spot.
This result leaves Southampton unbeaten in their last six outings and puts them in their highest league position this season so far.
Nevertheless, despite the Saints’ form on the road being excellent with no defeats to their name, their record at St Mary’s this term has been less impressive, the side dropping points in exactly half to their games at home since the start of the campaign.
Southampton’s defence was a concern for Koeman at the start of the season, however things have improved steadily of late with the Saints managing successive clean-sheets in the last two games, the first time they have achieved this since the opening day of the campaign.
The form of Graziano Pelle and Tadic up front has provided the south coast side with one of the Premier League’s strongest attacks with 19 goals in their 12 Premier League outings. We’ll be backing Graziano Pelle to score at odds of 11/8 with Sky Bet.
Stoke City are also one of the Premier League’s in-form sides with a single defeat in their last six top-flight games. They clinched a Capital One Cup win over Chelsea last month and followed this by defeating the reigning champions in the league at the Britannia Stadium prior to the international break.
This result lifted the Potters to twelfth place with a single point separating them from the top half of the table. To be honest, goals have been difficult to come by for the team with just ten scored throughout the campaign so far, although the form of England international goalkeeper Jack Buckland between the sticks has provided the Potters with one of the Premier League’s strongest defences.
Given that Stoke are having problems finding the back of the net and with Southampton becoming more solid at the back, we don’t anticipate the visitors managing more than a single goal at St Mary’s in a match which the hosts should edge.