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Southampton: Ralph must unleash James Ward-Prowse against Villa

Southampton’s next Premier League game sees them take on Aston Villa at St. Mary’s on Friday night to see if they can secure a consecutive league win after beating Watford 1-0 last weekend.

A first-half goal from Saints striker Che Adams was all that was needed from Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side to secure the three points at Vicarage Road, putting them in a good position to take on Villa, who aren’t in such as good place at the moment having lost their previous four league games on the bounce.

On the chalkboard

In terms of who Hasenhuttl could select in his starting XI to take on Dean Smith’s side on Friday, one Saints player that we feel should definitely be on the teamsheet is club captain James Ward-Prowse, someone who returned from suspension last time out against the Hornets.

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In the win at Watford, Ward-Prowse, who started and played 80 minutes, managed to have 72 touches of the ball, completing 46 out of the 54 passes he attempted in the process.

One of those was a key pass while he was also strong from a defensive perspective. During the clash, he made two tackles and two clearances while also producing an interception. That earned him an overall match rating of 7.3/10, making him the highest-rated midfield Saints player on the day according to SofaScore.

In addition to the match against the Hornets, the 27-year-old, who is currently valued at £28.8m according to Transfermarkt, has played the majority of all of Southampton’s Premier League games so far this season apart from their clashes against Leeds United and Burnley where he served a ban.

Is James Ward-Prowse Southampton's most important player?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Ward-Prowse, who has been labelled as a player on his way to having a “full package” by the manager, has made a total of 332 appearances for Southampton across all competitions in which he has managed to score 35 goals and 42 assists along the way, firmly cementing himself as a crucial figure for the Saints.

Back in the previous summer transfer window, Ward-Prowse was linked with a move to Villa who reportedly lodged a bid of £25m for his services which was then rejected by before the midfielder signed a new deal at St. Mary’s.

With the £100k-per-week earner supplying two goals and four assists in the ten games that he’s played against Villa in the past, he definitely has what it takes to make a difference in the game, potentially destroying a club that was interesting in acquiring him just months ago.

In other news: Southampton handed major injury boost ahead of Villa clash, Ralph will be thrilled – opinion 

Article title: Southampton: Ralph must unleash James Ward-Prowse against Villa

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