Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo has joked his team will need to pray if James Ward-Prowse gets any chances from free-kicks tonight.

The Wanderers are in FA Cup action against Southampton at Molineux, and are looking to reach the competition’s quarter-final stage.

Newcastle United v Southampton - Premier League
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have been in awful form in recent weeks, and will be desperate for a good cup run.

They’ve beaten Shrewsbury Town and Arsenal to reach this point, with Wolves having edged Crystal Palace and Chorley.

The Saints may be in dire straits at the moment, but they always have the potential to score in games due to the set-piece ability of Ward-Prowse.

Newcastle United v Southampton - Premier League
Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

The England international has scored 10 free-kick goals – four of those coming in 2020/21 – in the Premier League, which puts him one behind Sebastian Larsson in the all-time standings.

Previewing tonight’s game, Nuno said of countering the 26-year-old (via the club’s official website): “Practice. In that specific moment, we know we’re going to face a specialist. A specialist requires special attention, and this is what we’ll do.

“A good wall, assess properly, decide, set, and then do your job, knowing that he still has a long way to pass the wall and then our goalkeeper. It’s not easy.”

A big night for Ruddy?

Ward-Prowse’s talent from dead-ball situations is not up for debate; he is definitely one of the very best out there in football at the moment.

Chorley v Wolverhampton Wanderers: The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round
Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus

His technique is simply sensational, and Wolves need to be very careful about where they commit their fouls tonight.

It could be a big night for John Ruddy, who should get the nod over Rui Patricio in goal.

The 34-year-old needs full focus and cat-like reflexes at Molineux if he is to thwart the £45,000-a-week midfielder (Spotrac).

Related Topics