Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday October 20 2006
Stoke are back on the road this weekend and make the trip down to the south coast as they attempt to make it nine points out of nine in just a week.
Tony Pulis has cautioned his players from feeling over confident after two good wins against Leeds and Sunderland, but added: 'We will respect Southampton, but we are starting to build a bit of spirit, togetherness and belief in the camp. The new players have raised the standard towards the level we need to push on'
Southampton have lost their last three matches against QPR, Leicester and high-flyers Cardiff and George Burley will be hoping to give Saints' fans something to cheer about.
Chris Makin is only a possible starter after a hamstring strain, whilst another doubtful is Alexander Ostlund. Jhon Viafara is serving a one match ban after picking up five bookings. But Rudi Skacel could be back in contention after shrugging off a foot injury last week.
Rasiak was signed from Spurs in the Summer for £2m after being on loan for the latter stages of last season. He has already showed his form by netting eight goals so far this season.
Former Saints' players, Ricardo Fuller and Danny Higginbotham will be paying their first visits to St Mary's since they joined the Potters at the start of the season. Both players should be on form in front of their old team-mates. Fuller should start alongside Vincent Pericard as Mamady Sidibe picked up a knock in Tuesday's game with Sunderland. Luke Chadwick should play after he dislocated his shoulder and, of course, Rory Delap is out.
The Jamaican striker will be looking to show his old club what they're missing and to prove to his new manager that he should be an automatic first team choice. Pulis had relegated him to the subs' bench against Leeds (when he came on to score a late goal) and Sunderland after jetting back from international duties in Jamaica last week.
Stoke need to avenge a poor game last season when two Rasiak goals condemned the Potters to defeat at home. But Paul Gallagher gave the Stoke fans something to cheer as he scored a late consolation goal.
Sat 28th October: Norwich (home) kick-off 3pm
Tue 31st October: Leicester (away) kick-off 7:45pm
Mon 6th November: Coventry (home) kick-off 8pm (Sky TV)
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Date:Friday October 20 2006
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|9. West Ham||30||11||9||10||3||42|
|11. Crystal Palace||30||9||9||12||-5||36|
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