Stoke v Southampton: Preview

With Southampton taking a trip to the bet365 on Wednesday we spoke to Chris from

Southampton seem to be having a really mixed bag of results this season any reason for this?

Yet another period of transition following yet another turbulent Summer. The biggest worry is goals, we sold our top scorers in the Summer and so far it’s hit us hard.

How is life under Claude Puel? Will you be pushing for a European spot again this year? 

Not sure. A fair few haven’t warmed to him, but I think he is going about things the right way. We are back to utilizing our talented pool of kids, something Koeman had no interest in, and while league form has been shaky and the Europa exit frustrating, we are in our first major semi final since 2003. If we can win that then European football is a possibility again, getting in through the league will be a lot more difficult this season, with the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool having got their acts togather.

What are your thoughts after being knocked out of Europe? 

I was gutted. We should have won the game in Milan which would have made the job a lot simpler, but either way it was frustrating and a disappointing end to what should have been a winnable group.

Will Charlie Austin be a big miss? Who will come in to replace him?

In a word yes. He is the only forward we have that was hitting the back of the net, and those behind him in the pecking order have flattered to deceive. There will be a lot of fan unrest if we don’t sign a striker in January. To not would be a huge, and unnecessary risk. We have the money.

Your academy seems to go from strength to strength, is there any youth prospects we can expect to see on Wednesday night?

Sam McQueen and Josh Sims are the two who have burst on to the first team scene this season, and they have both excelled. Either could start on Wednesday.

Who do you feel will threaten Stoke the most on Wednesday?

Sofiane Boufal is by far our most dangerous player at the moment. The Moroccan has ridiculously quick feet and can make defenses look silly with a couple of sleek touches. He has struggled for fitness, but hopefully he will be available on Wednesday.

How much of Stoke have you seen this season, where do you see us finishing?

I’ve not seen a lot of Stoke to be honest, but I would expect them to be comfortably mid table. It’s never an easy trip for us.

Is there anyone in Stoke’s side who you a really worried about coming up against?

Shaqiri. Such a good player on his day. We’ll back off him no doubt.

Have you ever tried an Oatcake? (Tom: Prepare yourself for the worst answer we’ve ever had to this question)

No, is this one of those weird local words for bread roll? Like barm cake or batch? You Northerners are crazy.

What’s your prediction for the match? 

We struggle for goals and haven’t been great away of late, but I reckon we might nick a point. 1-1.

Written by Tom Thrower

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