First-placed Saints host the second-placed Royals at St Mary's with just goal difference separating the two teams.
However, Adkins believes that the fixture represents just another game in their promotion-chasing season.
"The winner on Friday night is going to be one step ahead of everyone else because it is very close," he told the club's official website. "After Friday there are another three games to go so we have to stay in the here and now, focus on the next game and move on.
"I think it is a very big statement to say it's the best two teams. There are a lot of very good teams in the Championship.
"As it stands at this moment in time you can probably turn around and say it is the two most consistent teams because that is what the points total is indicating."
Southampton are looking to make a return to England's top flight after a seven-year absence.