Preview - Southampton vs Stoke City March 03 2018

Started by Harry85, Mar 02, 2018, 04:19 AM

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Match Day 29
Southampton vs. Stoke City
Saturday, March 3rd, 2018
23:00 pm (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: St Mary's Stadium

Last five matches form: D D W L D
Average goals per match: 1.0
Average goals against per match: 1.5
Top Scorer: Charlie Austin (6)

Stoke City:
Last five matches form: W D L D D
Average goals per match: 1.0
Average goals against per match: 1.9
Top Scorer: Xherdan Shakiri (7)

There's barely a week goes by without a huge relegation clash at this stage of the season and this weekend is no different as Mauricio Pellegrino's Saints tackle Paul Lambert's Stoke City side on the south coast.

So tight is it down at the bottom, that a win for 19th placed Stoke City would see the Potters climb two points clear of Southampton who currently sit in 16th position.

We would generally give the edge to Southampton - being the home side - here, but the continued absence of top scorer Charlie Austin may prove a big leveller.

Whether Stoke City have quite enough about them to go and win this, we aren't so sure. They undoubtedly look a more assured unit at the back following the arrival of Lambert, but continue to struggle for goals. Xherdan Shakiri stepped up with another long-range effort to salvage a point at Leicester last weekend, but the Swiss maestro cant be expected to repeat the trick every week.

A point may not be ideal for either side here, particularly Southampton, who really need to be winning their home games. A point is a point though and may make all the difference between staying up and going down at the end of the season in a relegation race which looks set to go right to the wire.

We see the two sides ending up all square here.

Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Stoke City


Half time: 0 - 0
Full time: 0 - 0
Shots:  16 - 10
Shots on target: 5 - 3
Corner Kicks:  14 - 4
Possession: 66% - 34%

A fairly quiet afternoon for referee Anthony Taylor with just the one booking being dished out to Stoke's Geoff Cameron.

A rather strange opening period at St. Mary's as Southampton recorded a whopping 68% of position and yet lost the shots on target count 0 - 3. Would the home sides lack of attacking potency continue into the second period?

It was Stoke's Xherdan Shakiri who looked the most dangerous player on the pitch whenever he found himself in possession. The Swiss maestro teed up both Badou Ndiaye and Maxim Choupo-Moting with excellent crosses as half time approached, but both found their headers well saved. 0-0 at half time.

It was more of the same in terms of the flow of the march in the second period, although Southampton did at least begin to look more threatening at times, forcing Jack Butland into a number of saves. Nathan Redmond should really have done better on at least one occasion though.

The Saint's nearly paid the ultimate price for their profligacy in front of goal. Twice Stoke City threatened to pinch the points, with efforts in the 88th and 90th minutes, however Jese and Ndiaye again failed to find the target.

This looks a missed opportunity for Southampton as a win here would have put some crucial daylight between themselves and the bottom three. As things stand though the Saints remain firmly in the mire. As do second bottom Stoke City. Given the pattern of play here though, and the fact that they were away from home, this can only be viewed as a point gained for Paul Lamberts men and at least keeps them in touch.

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