Swans To Takeoff In Europe

Picture: Reuters
Spaniard Michu has been a revelation for Swansea. Picture: Reuters
Swansea  will be hopeful of a strong performance in the clubs first Europa League match against Valencia  in Spain on Friday morning (AEST) following a pair of strong results in the Premier League recently. The Welsh club lost its opening two league fixtures last month but has hit back since, beating West Brom 2-0 away from home before holding Liverpool to a 2-2 draw earlier in the week.

Swans winger Pablo Hernandez will miss the match against his former club after picking up a hamstring strain that also saw him miss out against the Reds at the start of the week. Former Barcelona and Real Madrid star Michael Laudrup - who now manages Swansea – will have striker Wilfried Bony available however after the Ivorian recovered from a rib injury that forced him off against Liverpool.

Valencia lifted the old UEFA Cup in 2004 but has been well below that level so far this season and goes into this match on the back of three consecutive defeats. Given the struggles Los Che has had on the domestic front recently, it is hardly a surprise that boss Miroslav Djukić will rest some of his players for this fixture, with Víctor Ruiz, João Pereira and Oriol Romeu all set to be spectators at the Mestalla Stadium.

This is the first time these sides have met in a competitive match but Valencia tackled another EPL club, Stoke City, in the competition last year and won both clashes 1-0 . Swansea lost 1-2  when they tackled Petrolul Ploiesti away from home in the qualifying stages of the Europa League but collected a draw  away to Malmo in an earlier round.

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