SAINTS can benefit from Stoke's centre-back injury crisis as they attempt to solve their scoring problems at the Potters on Saturday.

Struggling Stoke have won just once in the Premier League in six games this term and welcome Saints off the back of a 4-0 battering at the hands of Chelsea.

To add to their problems, they are without three of their frontline centre-back options.

Captain Ryan Shawcross, Bruno Martins Indi and new £18m signing from Tottenham, Kevin Wimmer, are all expected to be sidelined for Saints' visit.

On top of that, they are also sweating on the fitness of veteran defender Geoff Cameron as their centre-back shortage mounts.

Without that trio and with Cameron having been injured for the last two games, it leaves Chelsea loan man Kurt Zouma as the only recognisable fit central defender.

Mark Hughes will hope to call on versatile USA international Cameron, but otherwise will have to make do with cobbling together a defence, as he did against the Blues.

In the 4-0 thrashing last weekend, Stoke had to call upon former Portsmouth right-back Glen Johnson to play in a back three.

The 33-year-old was left exposed as Stoke's defence made several costly errors to allow the reigning Premier League champions to romp to victory, with Alvaro Morata netting a hat-trick and Pedro scoring the other.

Now Saints arrive struggling for goals but playing far more confidently than they had been earlier in the campaign.

The last two games - the 1-0 win at Crystal Palace and the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United - both contained hugely promising signs.

Mauricio Pellegrino will want to expose Stoke's weaknesses just as ruthlessly as Antonio Conte's men did at the weekend.

Although, Saints have scored just two goals from open play in six Premier League games this season.

But they will know that they have an opportunity at the Potters to show they can walk the walk in front of goal.

If Saints produce anything that reflects the intensity they did in the second half of Saturday's 1-0 loss to United, then they might well be able to make light work of suffering Stoke.