Two of the Premier League’s most in-form teams will meet when Southampton host Stoke City at St Mary’s on Saturday.
Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk is expected to face Stoke despite suffering a knee injury on international duty with the Netherlands. Shane Long is also fit to feature, but Jay Rodriguez may need surgery on his foot problem.
Stoke remain without Marc Muniesa and Shay Given, but Erik Pieters will play despite breaking his nose in two places in the 1-0 win over Chelsea last time out. Mame Diouf and Geoff Cameron both returned from international duty unscathed but are likely to start on the bench.
- There have been four draws in the last six Premier League clashes between these sides, with each claiming a win at home last season.
- In only one of those six meetings has a team failed to score (Southampton’s 1-0 home win in October 2014).
- Mame Biram Diouf has scored in Stoke’s last two clashes with Southampton in all competitions (two goals in total).
- Southampton are unbeaten in six Premier League games (W4 D2); the last time they enjoyed a longer unbeaten run in the top-flight was back in November 2013 (eight games in total).
- Stoke have lost just one of their last seven top-flight games and have kept four clean sheets in their last five Premier League matches.
- Indeed, this is Stoke’s best-ever start to a Premier League campaign (16 pts, -2 goal difference).
- Southampton have seen a player sent off in two of their last three league games, though they’ve not been beaten in either match (W1 D1).
- Saints have scored the most headed goals in the top division this season (6).
- Jack Butland has made more saves than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League this season (50).