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Thursday 20 September 2018

Swans expect 'different' Valencia

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup. Picture credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup. Picture credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.

MICHAEL LAUDRUP expects Valencia to be a completely different proposition from their September meeting when the sides clash in the Europa League at the Liberty Stadium.

Swansea stunned the Spanish club and claimed one of the most famous wins in their history when they secured a 3-0 win at the Mestalla in the opening round of Group A fixtures.

The win came during a miserable start to the season for Los Che and heaped pressure on coach Miroslav Djukic.

Their form initially recovered, and three consecutive Europa League wins mean they have already reached the knockout stages and sit top of Group A but they have lost four of their last six games in La Liga and lie 11th.

The club have also recently appointed a new sporting director to work with Djukic, although Francisco Rufete has not made the trip to Wales.

But, despite recent form, Swans boss Laudrup believes the freedom of having already nailed down a place in the last 32 will mean it is a very different Valencia team tonight.

He said: "When we played them at the Mestalla, it was under special circumstances. They had come off the back of three defeats in the league.

"Obviously it was special for this club to beat one of the big teams in Spain, people here could tell you that.

"But then they came back on track, they won a few games.

"They have lost a few in the last few weeks, but it will be different to the game there because they already qualified, they don't have to think about this competition before February."

A win would guarantee Swansea's advancement, while a point may prove to be enough depending on the result in Kuban's clash with St Gallen.

SWANSEA v VALENCIA, LIVE SETANTA IRL/ITV 4 (KO 8.05)

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