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Southampton vs Brentford: James Ward-Prowse much more than free kicks, says Thomas Frank

Ward-Prowse has moved on to 17 direct free-kick goals in the Premier League and is now just one behind the record held by Beckham.

Brentford travel to St Mary’s looking to bounce back after their 12-game unbeaten run was ended by a 1-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday.

The Bees could go seventh with a win tonight but they face a Southampton side whose form has improved under new manager Ruben Selles.

Frank said: “Right now, Southampton have hit a little bit of form.

“Over the last couple of seasons, it’s been Ward-Prowse. He’s definitely the man we need to close down. We know he’s good on set-pieces, direct free-kicks, but also his crosses, balls in behind, and his finishing skills.”

Southampton held Manchester United to a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday and have an opportunity to climb out of the relegation zone for the first time since the end of October.

Frank said: “Ruben has done a good job in the short amount of time he’s been in charge. It seems as though they are just a bit more together, running a bit harder, and a bit more tight in every area. It also seems like he’s found his starting team, which is always good.

“It’s going to be a tough test. Of course, I trust us. If we go out and perform, we’ll have a very good chance to win.”

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