Swansea manager Michael Laudrup wary of Manchester City backlash

 

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is wary of a Manchester City backlash when his side travel to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The Barclays Premier League champions saw their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League suffer a major blow last night when they lost 3-1 at Ajax.

City had been keen to make their mark in Europe this season, but with those aspirations under threat, Laudrup knows there will be a response from Roberto Mancini and his side with their home fans behind them.

The Dane said: "This game is a game where the majority do not expect much from us and you have lots to gain and not so much to lose. But every game is important and we want the points.

"We are playing the champions of last season and it is always a difficult game, but I think it is maybe even more difficult now after what happened yesterday.

"The players and supporters will be disappointed they are last in their group and they will want to show the crowd on Saturday that it was just a mistake that they lost and we need to be even more prepared for that game.

"I don't know how many changes they will make but the XI that goes on the pitch will want to show the home crowd they are still in there fighting and they want to compete for the title again, so we have to be alert from the first minute."

Swansea travel to the north-west on the back of a morale-boosting victory over Wigan last weekend, which ended a winless run of five games.

The victory tees up Swansea for a difficult run of games; Saturday's meeting with City is followed by a Capital One Cup tie against Liverpool at Anfield and a home league clash with Chelsea.

And Laudrup says the chance to face the domestic and European champions, either side of a reunion with former Swans' boss Brendan Rodgers, means motivation will be no problem for his squad .

He said: "They are very difficult games but they are special games against the champions of England and the champions of Europe.

"When you play the champions it is always special, and as a manager you don't have to motivate the players as they are always up for these games, and if you add in the cup game against Liverpool at Anfield we are going into a very exciting week."

Swansea have no new injury concerns ahead of Saturday's tea-time kick-off, although defenders Kyle Bartley (thigh) and Neil Taylor (broken ankle) are long-term absentees.

PA

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