. . . a selection of press reports ahead of Swans' semi-final decider
With a huge night in store for Michael Laudrup and Co on Wednesday, the media are focusing on the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg and a potential first major cup final for the Swans.
Chelsea stand in the way of the Swans’ hopes of advancing to Wembley, with the hosts boasting a 2-0 lead going into the return leg at the Liberty.
Ashley Williams admits the Swans have to be at their best if they are to hold off the European champions while Ki Sung-Yueng is targeting a return to Wembley after playing there in the Olympics.
On the opposition side of things, Chelsea interim boss Rafa Benitez believes his side still have a big chance of progressing despite their first leg defeat, while Gary Cahill revealed the Blues will be inspired by their amazing second-leg comeback against Napoli in last season’s Champions League.
Meanwhile, Laudrup has spoken on the latest surrounding loan star Jonathan de Guzman’s future at the Liberty.
Swans aware victory over Chelsea not yet complete insists Ash
Ashley Williams knows Swansea still have plenty of work to do to complete the job of seeing off Chelsea in their Capital One Cup semi-final tie.
The Swans hold a 2-0 lead going into tomorrow night's second leg, having pulled off a stunning smash and grab raid at Stamford Bridge courtesy of goals from Michu and Danny Graham.
Wales captain Williams knows a Chelsea squad boasting the talents of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Demba Ba and Frank Lampard will be a real handful, with the onus on the visitors to take the game to their hosts.
"It's such a big game for us as individuals and as a club. We went up there, did really well and we have set ourselves up nicely," said Williams.
"But we know the job is not done and it will be as tough here as it was up there. They will come at us and we will be ready for that."
Ki is hoping to unlock Wembley cup final door against Chelsea
South Korean star Ki Sung-Yeung wants Swansea City to make the most of their golden opportunity to reach a Wembley cup final.
Swansea take a healthy 2-0 lead into tomorrow night’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium, hoping to progress to the club’s first-ever major cup final.
Former Celtic midfielder Ki admits it would be a dream start to his Swansea career after less than six months with the club since his £5.5m move from Scotland.
He is hoping for a return to Wembley having played there for South Korea against Gabon at London 2012 shortly before his move to South Wales.
He added: “I’ve played at Wembley at the Olympics, but if I get there with Swansea it would be very different.
“The atmosphere would be amazing and also the feelings for the fans.
“Also, we want to go for Europe so we have a lot of things to achieve by getting to the final.”
South Wales Evening Post
Rafa: Cup still there for us to win
Rafael Benitez has conceded defeat in the race for the Premier League title — but insists Chelsea's Capital One Cup hopes are still very much alive.
Benitez has admitted that Chelsea are unlikely to overhaul the two Manchester clubs at the top of the Premier League table.
But the former Liverpool boss believes the Blues are still in contention for three other trophies — even though Swansea are the bookmakers' favourites to reach the League Cup final.
Benitez insisted: "The Capital One Cup is there, the FA Cup is still open and the Europa League is still open.
"I just have to give the team confidence that we can win against anyone. If you have that belief, it becomes easier."
Cahill: The miracle of Napoli will inspire Chelsea
Gary Cahill believes that if Chelsea can grab the first goal in their Capital One Cup semi-final decider against Swansea tomorrow, the great escape could be on.
Chelsea go to the Liberty Stadium 2-0 down after a terrible first leg at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago. Errors from Branislav Ivanovic gifted goals to Michu and Danny Graham, and left them a wintry mountain to climb in snowy South Wales.
Cahill insists Chelsea have to treat it like a European tie and recalled their exploits in the Champions League last season, when they came back from 3-1 down against Napoli to reach the quarter-finals with a famous 4-1 second-leg victory.
“This tie is not beyond us,” said Cahill.
“We’ve done it before in the Champions League but it’s going to be tough. The key is to score the first goal. If we do that it will be a nervy night for them.
“We have to think of this game like a European tie. Swansea are an attacking team, but we need two goals so we have to go at them and try to hurt them. The first goal will be massively important.”
Swans hope to tie up permanent deal for de Guzman
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup wants Jonathan de Guzman to stay at the club but admits a deal could be tricky.
De Guzman has expressed a clear desire to stay at the Liberty Stadium beyond the end of his season-long loan from Villarreal.
And while the Swans boss is keen to keep the Dutch midfielder, he claims much will depend upon the demands of the Spanish second-tier side.
"He is a player I'd like to stay and I hope we can work out a deal with Villarreal," said Laudrup.
"Jonathan is very happy here but it depends a lot on what Villarreal want. We are going to try what we can and we will see if it is enough.
"We won't buy him in January. He is on loan until the end of the season, and then we'll see."
We're desperate, Dan! Swans skipper begs in-demand Graham to stay
Ashley Williams has urged team-mate Danny Graham to stay at Swansea.
In-demand striker Graham could leave the Liberty Stadium later this week, with Sunderland and Norwich interested.
But skipper Williams hopes the 27-year-old forward, who came on as a substitute in the 3-1 weekend win over Stoke, will remain a Swan.
Williams said: “We all want him to stay. He’s a top player and has done well here - we were saying to him in the changing room after the game that we want him to stay.
“We definitely don’t want to see him leave and I think if you asked any player here they would stay the same thing. We want him here.
“He is going to make the decision on whether he stays or goes. He has to make the right decision for himself and his family and his situation.
“Obviously, we are telling him we want him to stay, but it is his decision whether he stays or goes and we will back him whatever he chooses.”