West Ham will look to follow their terrific London derby win over Tottenham with a win at home to Southampton. It most certainly has the feeling of an end of season game, however, with neither team now having much to play for.
There will be an interesting battle on show, however. Both Declan Rice and James Ward-Prowse are fighting for an England place ahead of the Nations League finals in June, to varying success.
While Rice perhaps looks more of a certainty to take a place on the plane, Ward-Prowse is also surely in with a shout. But who is the better player of the two?
Let’s analyse it further below.
With the number of games the midfielder has played, it’s easy to forget that Ward-Prowse is only 24-years-old. He has 191 Premier League appearances to his name. To put that into perspective, 25-year-old Harry Kane has played only 181 games.
Although only due to late injuries to Fabian Delph and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ward-Prowse was included in recent Euro 2020 qualifications against the Czech Republic and Montenegro. He was an unused sub in the former, but made a late cameo against Montenegro.
It remains to be seen whether the midfielder will get the call-up, but his excellent form this season must give him a chance. Ward-Prowse will certainly be looking forward to another season in the Premier League and will hope to continue his recent form.
TT Grade: B
The West Ham youngster has this season emerged as one of England’s biggest prospects and it would certainly be a shock should he not make the plane for the Nations League.
Obviously, the 20-year-old has enjoyed a hugely successful season. He has locked down a permanent role in the West Ham midfield, scored his first senior goal and made his England debut. To cap it off, he was nominated for the Young Player of the Year award, although it was eventually awarded to Raheem Sterling.
The future certainly looks bright for Rice, who will most likely receive interest from a number of clubs. He is now valued at £31.5m by TransferMarkt, but it would likely take more than that to prise him away from West Ham.
TT Grade: A+
There we have it, Declan Rice takes the victory here.
The West Ham prospect has been sensational this season and will be looking forward to both this summer and next season.
West Ham and Southampton fans, what do you think? Will Ward-Prouse make the plane this summer? Will Rice be an England starter for years to come? Comment below.
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