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Michu's friendly rivalry

PUBLISHED

15:34 15th March 2013

. . . Swans star hopes to deliver the goods when Santi comes calling


Michu aims to get one over on close pal Santi Cazorla this weekend as the Swans target a return to winning ways against Arsenal at the Liberty.
The pair are former team-mates from their time at Real Oviedo - the Spanish club which both players helped save from financial meltdown recently.
But there will be a friendly rivalry come Saturday afternoon, with the Gunners desperate to step up their top-four target bid.
Both players have made massive impacts since their arrivals from La Liga last summer, Michu scoring 15 league goals following a £2million switch from Rayo Vallecano.
Cazorla, a summer acquisition from Malaga, has chipped in with 11 top-flight goals as he helps the Gunners’ hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
Michu, voted ahead of Cazorla and Robin van Persie in a recent survey of the best purchase of the campaign, was full of praise for his friend and fellow countryman – a player he feels is currently the pick of the squad at Arsenal.
But he feels Arsenal’s Champions League commitments in midweek could benefit the Swans as they look to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat at West Brom.
“Santi is a good friend of mine. I speak with him regularly,” said Michu, who scored both goals in the Swans' 2-0 league win at the Emirates in December. “He is really happy there.
“I think he is Arsenal’s best player - he has done very well this season, scoring 11 goals.
“And, of course, I will see him on Saturday at the Liberty.
“They had a good win at Bayern, but I think it’s good for us that they played in Munich in midweek.
“We have had time to rest this week, so we will feel fresh while they have had to travel back from Germany and not had too much time to prepare for us.
“We need three points because we lost last time at West Brom.
“Last time in the league against Arsenal, we played very well at The Emirates. We all put in massive performances that day and was great to score both goals and win 2-0.
“We are similar teams in terms of style.
“At the Liberty, we will have chances because both teams try to play good football. So it should be a good game for the spectators.”
Cazorla, too, was full of praise for his former Ovideo team-mate.
He told www.arsenal.com: ““The Swansea squad in general is strong but, above all, Michu. I know him from when we were very young and he is a player that can make a difference. He's scored a lot of goals.
“A lot of people were surprised at his impact but I wasn't, absolutely not. I think he's an incredible footballer and also one that's only improving.
“Every day he has more potential. I'm very happy for him because we're such good friends and, above all, because he's playing so well in a team like Swansea.
“They are a team that will be difficult to play against, they play good football.
“Michael Laudrup has a philosophy that is great for the supporters to watch.
“We hope we can get the better of them because, for us, it's vital to get the points.”

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