Preview: Southampton v Stoke City

Claude Puel's future could be on the line as Southampton take on Stoke City in their final Premier League fixture of the season.

The domestic rivals meet at St Mary's on Sunday with Stoke languishing in 14th and without the possibility of a top-half finish, but eighth-placed Southampton could drop as low as 11th with a defeat against Mark Hughes' side.

And it is the Saints boss who heads into this game under pressure despite guiding his side to an EFL Cup final, alongside a respectable Europa League campaign.

Stoke haven't enjoyed their usual improvement this season after bettering their points tally over four consecutive campaigns, but former Manchester City boss Hughes’ job remains secure.

"It's fair to say that we haven't hit our targets this season, so it is disappointing. It isn't disastrous though, I don't feel," the Welshman told reporters.

"Everybody wants to be stimulated by progressive seasons, and of the four I have been here this is the first that we have fallen short."

Shane Long could return for te Saints after recovering from an ankle injury picked up at Middlesbrough last week. But right-back Cedric Soares faces a fitness test after limping off in the midweek draw.

Stoke forward Marko Arnautovic is doubtful because of an elbow problem sustained in last weekend's defeat at Arsenal.

Comments