Tony Pulis will be relishing another fixture in front of a raucous Britannia crowd as his in-form Stoke outfit look to extend their unbeaten Premier League run to 10 matches against relegation-threatened Southampton and potentially above Arsenal into seventh place.
The Potters impressed in their 3-1 dismantling of Liverpool on Boxing Day, the first time they have scored more than twice in a Premier League match all season and the attacking threat from strike duo Jonathan Walters and Kenwyne Jones should see them keep their places ahead of Peter Crouch.
Elsewhere, Pulis has selection issues defensively with captain Ryan Shawcross and right-back Geoff Cameron suspended after picking up their fifth bookings of the season against Liverpool, with Matthew Upson and Ryan Shotton, himself returning from suspension, poised to deputise.
Visitors Southampton will be looking to build on their promising point picked up at Craven Cottage against Fulham but will be aware that taking only their second away league victory this season at the Britannia will be extremely difficult, particularly with captain Adam Lallana still absent with a knee injury. Besides Lallana, Nigel Adkins has a fully-fit to choose from though he may look to reshuffle his pack, particularly with the visit of Arsenal to the South Coast on New Year’s Day.