With the return of the Premier League this weekend, Southampton make the trip to face Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday to see if they can continue their solid run of form from before the international break.
During the break, there were some concerns over the fitness of certain Saints players and whether or not they would be able to take part against the Canaries, who are currently sitting at the bottom of the league table with just five points on the board from 11 games.
Fortunately for Southampton, it seems as though one of their key players will be available for the clash.
After being forced to drop out of the England squad at the start of the international break through illness, it has been revealed by Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl that club captain James Ward-Prowse will be available to play against Norwich after recovering from a bug rather than anything serious.
Given how Ward-Prowse has started nine out of Southampton’s 11 league games so far this season and scored two goals in the process, this shows how important he is to Hasenhuttl and the team.
As well as the number of appearances he’s made this season, the midfielder has also shown just how useful he is with his performances in an attacking and defensive sense.
In the Premier League, Ward-Prowse has racked up an average of 1.2 shots and 1.7 key passes per game, showing that he is a big part of Southampton’s attacking force. Indeed, only Nathan Redmond can better the captain’s average for the latter metric among Hasenhuttl’s squad.
The 27-year-old skipper, who is currently valued at £28.8m by Transfermarkt, has also shown that he isn’t one to ignore his defensive duties, with an average of 1.2 tackles and 1.1 clearances per game this season.
With this in mind, it’s safe to say that Southampton fans will be buzzing to hear that Ward-Prowse will be available to play against Norwich this weekend.
Taking into account that Norwich have only won one game all season, scoring fewer goals (five) and conceding more (26) than any other side in the Premier League, this could be a great opportunity for Southampton to pick up another victory after winning three of their four previous matches prior to the November international break.