. . . Swans prepare to face Arsenal in Wednesday's FA Cup replay
Michael Laudrup is hoping that his players can continue their recent good form when they face Arsenal in Wednesday’s FA Cup third round replay (7.30pm).
The Swans travel to the Emirates on the back of just two defeats in their last 17 matches - a run that included a 2-0 win over Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League at the start of December.
Since then, they have held league leaders Manchester United, recorded a 2-0 win at Chelsea in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final and taken the Gunners to an FA Cup replay.
Wednesday’s clash will be the fifth in a packed January schedule, with another four games to come if they were to book a fourth-round clash with Brighton.
But Laudrup believes the number of games is simply a sign of how well the players have performed on the pitch.
“The league is the most important competition,” he said. “But I said at the start of the season that I like playing in the cups.
“Wednesday is another game, but it is an important one and we’ll be trying to win it. We know we can win there and those types of results give you confidence.
“Arsenal haven’t won a trophy for nearly eight years so they will be doing everything they can to win the game and progress.
“But it’s because we’ve won games that we are playing so regularly. The better you do, the bigger the expectations. The players are really enjoying it.”
Last week, the Swans played three games in a week in three different competitions, while keeping their unbeaten run intact.
Michael Laudrup confirmed that he has a fit squad to choose from for the game at the Emirates, though new loan signing Roland Lamah is unavailable as he would needed to have been registered before the original tie in order to feature against the Gunners.
Arsenal will be without both Mikel Arteta and Laurent Koscielny for Wednesday’s clash, but Laudrup is aware of the vast squad that Arsene Wenger has at his disposal.
“Everyone should be fit, which is good news,” he said. “We have to use the squad rather than rest players, and we have done that with great success so far this season.
“Whatever happens, the team I put out will be a competitive one and I feel that most of the squad feel important to the team right now.”
He added: “It’s how you play on the day. We know how they play, and they know how we play.
“Arteta is an important player for them, but they have many high quality players that they can bring in as cover.”
The Swans made their first move of the January transfer window today, bringing in Belgian winger Lamah on an 18-month loan.
The 25-year-old won’t feature against Arsenal on Wednesday, but he will be eligible for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Stoke.
And Laudrup was delighted to finally agree a deal for a player he has admired for a long time.
“Roland is someone we watched before the season started,” he said. “He can play on either flank, or in behind the striker and he has lots of individual ability, particularly in one-on-one situations as well as a good shot.
“I think he will be very useful for us because when Wayne (Routledge) and Pablo (Hernandez) were out injured for a number of weeks, we missed someone with those characteristics.
“He needs time to adapt, that’s why we brought him in on an 18-month deal. He will get a chance here and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”