Predicted Southampton XI to face Stoke City - Osvaldo to return?

Southampton face a trip North this weekend, as they go to Stoke to face Mark Hughes' side - how will the Saints line up?

Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino will be looking for his side to continue their fantastic start to the season as they travel to face Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium, and could welcome back Pablo Osvaldo to his squad.

The Italian striker missed the Saints' 2-0 win over Fulham last weekend with what Pochettino described as a 'slight knock', but the £13m summer signing from Roma isn't expected to start, with Rickie Lambert likely to keep his place up front after his goal against Martin Jol's side.

Midfielder Steven Davis also missed the game with an injury, and whilst he could return against the Potters this weekend, the performance of replacement James Ward-Prowse last week may keep the Northern Ireland international out of the side.

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Other than that, it appears to be a clean bill of health for Pochettino's side, though the ongoing Gaston Ramirez saga shows no signs of resolution. The Uruguayan was on the bench against Fulham, but was missing in previous weeks, and with players returning from injury, the 22 year old could find himself out of the reckoning again.

With the form the Saints are in, Pochettino is expected to stick with the side that clinched the 2-0 win last weekend, and the starting XI would look like this:

Predicted Southampton line-up: Boruc; Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw; Wanyama, Schneiderlin; Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez; Lambert

image: © mischatuffield

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