MX23RW : Friday, October 22 22:42:22| >> :60:3150:3150:
Sep 30, 2017 at 3pm UK at bet365 Stadium
Attendance: 29,285
StokeStoke City
2-1
Southampton
Biram Diouf (40'), Crouch (85')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Yoshida (76')

Team News: Virgil van Dijk makes first Premier League start of season

Team News: Van Dijk returns for Southampton
© SilverHub
Virgil van Dijk is included in the Southampton starting lineup for the first time this season ahead of their Premier League clash with Stoke City.

Virgil van Dijk has been included in the Southampton starting lineup for the first time since January for their Premier League trip to face Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium this afternoon.

Van Dijk missed a large chunk of last season through injury, and his return to the team was delayed following a summer of speculation regarding his future.

The Dutchman expressed his desire to leave the Saints amid interest from Liverpool, but he has now been welcomed back into the fold alongside Maya Yoshida at the heart of the defence.

It is the only change made by the visitors from the team that narrowly lost to Manchester United last weekend, with Shane Long again leading the line while Manolo Gabbiadini has to make do with a place on the bench.

The Saints have failed to score in four of their six league games this season, but they come up against a Stoke side winless in five outings.

Mark Hughes's side are boosted by the returns of Kurt Zouma, Geoff Cameron and Kevin Wimmer, though, all of whom were absent for last weekend's 4-0 defeat to Chelsea through a mixture of injury and ineligibility.

Glen Johnson, Bruno Martins Indi and Ramadan Sobhi drop out of the starting XI for the defensive trio, while there is also a change further up the field as Saido Berahino leads the line.

The 24-year-old makes just his second league start of the season, replacing Jese Rodriguez in the side.

Stoke City: Butland; Zouma, Cameron, Wimmer; Diouf, Allen, Fletcher, Pieters; Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting; Berahino
Subs: Grant, Johnson, Tymon, Afellay, Adam, Crouch, Ramadan

Southampton: Forster; Cedric, Van Dijk, Yoshida, Bertrand; Romeu, Lemina, Tadic, Davis, Redmond; Long
Subs: McCarthy, Hoedt, Hojbjerg, Ward-Prowse, Boufal, Gabbiadini, Austin

Catch every moment of the action at the bet365 Stadium courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute coverage.

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Mark Hughes watches on during the Premier League game between Stoke City and Manchester United on September 9, 2017
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