Southampton predicted line up v Stoke City

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Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has only one injury problem ahead of this week's Capital One Cup tie, where they travel to face Stoke City for the second time in four days.

The Saints, fresh from a 1-0 win over tomorrow night's hosts on the weekend, will run a late fitness test on Saturday's match-winner Sadio Mane ahead of the tie.

Apart from that, the Dutchman has confirmed to the club's official website that he has a fully-fit squad to choose from ahead of the fourth round match.

Squad rotation

Although the Saints are on remarkable run of eight straight victories and Koeman will not want to interrupt the flow his side have created, there are a couple of players he will be looking to give a run-out to.

Shane Long will be one of the players who the 51-year-old is surely contemplating with a starting berth, especially with the doubt over Mane.

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Along with Long, there could also be a start for Florin Gardos, the former Steaua Bucharest man who has made only four starts since joining the club this summer.

Development the key

The only other change that Koeman is more than likely to go with, is that of Matt Targett. The 19-year-old has played in both the Capital One Cup matches so far and would probably be disappointed to not be involved.

One thing that the Southampton boss will want to do though is to keep his group of players progressing and developing the style of play he is impressing on them, but he will be wary of making too many changes which will affect their rhythm.

The chance to get Targett another game with the first team squad, as well as getting some of the less used squad members a game is definitely going to be on Koeman's mind. However his main priority will be to field a side capable of beating Stoke for the second time in a week.

Predicted starting XI


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