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Laudrup preparing for "huge week"

PUBLISHED

13:12 17th October 2013

. . . starting with Saturday's game against Sunderland at the Liberty


Michael Laudrup insists his side are entering a “huge week”, starting with Saturday’s clash against Sunderland at the Liberty (3pm).
The Swans welcome the Black Cats to SA1 ahead of a midweek game against Kuban Krasnodar and next Sunday’s visit of West Ham.
Laudrup’s side are yet to win at home in the Premier League this season, but face back-to-back home games for the first time this term.
New Sunderland boss Gus Poyet brings his side to south Wales on the back of a poor start, with the Wearsiders having taken just one point from their first seven games.
However, Laudrup knows his side are in for a tough afternoon against the league’s bottom club.


“For me this is a huge week for us,” he said. We have three home games in eight days, and we need to win at home. But it won’t be easy.
“Sunderland have some very good players in their squad, and we will respect them. They have a new manger and they will want to do their best and show him that they should be starting.
“If we can get two good results in the league, and a win on Thursday, we will sit comfortably in the table and have one foot in the knockout stages of the Europa League.
“It will mean a lot for us and the confidence that it will bring. But we need to win.”
Saturday’s game sees a return to Premier League action following the latest international break, with a new of countries booking their place in next summer’s World Cup.
For the Swans, Michu won his first call-up to the Spanish squad and played his part in a 2-1 win over Belarus before being an unused sub against Georgia as Vicente del Bosque’s side reached Brazil 2014.
“It’s one of the most difficult squads to get into,” said Laudrup. “Apart from the names that were on show, there are still plenty who weren’t in it that could have been.
“They have around 35 really top players and it depends how we, and Michu himself, does this season to see if del Bosque calls on him.”
Meanwhile, Laudrup confirmed that the international break had been kind to his players in terms of injuries ahead of Saturday’s clash with Sunderland.
Skipper Ashley Williams remains on the sidelines, but there are welcome returns for the likes of Pablo Hernandez and Jonathan de Guzman.
“Ashley has been out for nearly four weeks, but he wont play on Saturday,” said Laudrup. “Hopefully he will be back in training very soon, and Jonathan should be fine for the weekend after a problem with his groin.
“But Ben (Davies) is still a doubt and we’ll assess him at the weekend. Pablo should be fine as well, so it has been a good break for us overall.”

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