With just two points separating them in the standings, Stoke can expect a tightly-contested match against Southampton at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
The Potters have been in good form in recent weeks, stringing together three wins against Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Newcastle before last weekend's 1-1 draw with Chelsea. It has been a good campaign so far for Stoke, who are just seven points off the top-four as they continue to enjoy the most open Premier League campaign in recent memory.
The Saints, meanwhile, are needing to return to winning ways after seeing a six-game unbeaten run ended by back-to-back defeats against Chelsea and Bournemouth prior to last weekend's stalemate with Sunderland. They will have to be wary though as they have already been beaten by Stoke this season, losing 1-0 at home in November thanks to a Bojan Krkic strike.
In team news, Stoke will be hoping that centre-back Ryan Shawcross will recover from his back injury in time to feature, while midfielder Charlie Adam (calf muscle strain) is also a slight doubt. However, the match will come too soon for Phil Bardsley (calf/shin), Glen Johnson (knee), and Marc Wilson (medial collateral ligament).
Southampton will expect to have striker Shane Long (knee) return to action, but fellow striker Charlie Austin (hamstring) is ruled out along with long-term injury victims Jay Rodriguez (ankle) and Florin Gardos (knee), while midfielder Victor Wanyama is suspended.