The reason why Merson is going against Stoke in the Saints match

Sky Sports football pundit Paul Merson tips Southampton to coast toward a 2-0 triumph over Stoke City in their Saturday kick-off at St Marys Stadium.

Considering the £100 million worth of talent that departed St Marys Stadium in the summer - to Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal - the manner in which Ronald Koeman has ensured Southampton have not only recovered, but improved, has taken the Premier League by surprise.

Currently a comfortable third in the division and holding on to one of the most in-form strikers in European football - Graziano Pelle - Southampton are in a good position to defeat their visitors, Stoke City, on Saturday.

At least that is what Sky Sports football analyst Paul Merson is predicting.

"Confidence will be high for Southampton after winning 8-0 [in their last match against Sunderland], but they can’t get complacent because any game against Stoke is always a hard game," he wrote.

"With the way they are playing, I do expect Southampton to have a little bit too much for them.

"Everything about Southampton is just right at the moment – although I don’t often go against Stoke," he concluded, before picking the Saints to triumph by a 2-0 score.

Stoke are currently tenth in the league table, five points shy from Southampton.

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