Ki hoping to get the edge over former team-mates
26th September 2014
Ki Sung-Yueng expects the Swans to face a real battle at Sunderland as he looks to get one over on some old team-mates.
The South Korean spent a successful loan spell at the Stadium of Light last season as he scored four goals in 34 appearances to help the Black Cats avoid the drop.
Ki also featured heavily in Sunderland's Capital One Cup campaign, which culminated in a final defeat to Manchester City at Wembley.
Since returning to his parent club, the midfielder has become a key cog in Garry Monk's plans having started all five league games.
The Swans head to Sunderland on the back of consecutive league defeats to Chelsea and Southampton, though Tuesday night's Capital One Cup win over Everton sends Monk's men to the North East in good spirits.
And Ki predicts a tough afternoon ahead against a Sunderland side that is still searching for its first league win this season.
"This game is crucial for us because we have to pick up points after the previous two league defeats," said the 25-year-old, who featured in all three of his nation's World Cup matches this summer.
"But the cup win over Everton gives us confidence going up to Sunderland.
"We have two games before the international break, and they are really important for us.
"I know that at Sunderland the atmosphere is massive to the team - the fans are very supportive and make a lot of noise. I know what they can bring to the team.
"We need to prepare well and be ready for many battles because it's going to be tough.
"We will stick to our principles, but we have to win those battles."
Back on familiar territory, Ki is looking forward to meeting up with some former acquaintances as the Swans target a fourth league win.
He added: "My loan move to Sunderland last season really worked out.
"They helped me and I tried to help them. I had a great time there and reaching the cup final was a fantastic experience.
"I was injured near the end, but I was delighted Sunderland stayed up.
"I'm looking forward to playing against some of my old team-mates on Saturday and it will be nice to speak the staff and fans.
"But hopefully we will bring home the three points."