Laudrup: "No favourites for derby"

1st November 2013

Michael Laudrup says that there are no favourites for Sunday's Welsh derby as the Swans prepare to face Cardiff City for the first time in the Barclays Premier League.

Laudrup's side travel to The Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday, November 3 (4pm), as the clubs go head-to-head for the first time since they met in the Championship in 2011.

Going into the hotly anticipated fixture, the Swans have picked up 11 points from nine games, while Cardiff lie just two points behind.

However, Laudrup, who has played in some of world football's biggest derbies, was keen to emphasise that recent form and league positions are irrelevant when it comes to these games.

"I don't think there is ever a great favourite when you talk about derbies," said Laudrup.

"One can be on top, in better form and have more points, but for that 90 minutes, it doesn't matter because a derby is a special game.

"I've played games where my team were in much better form but still lost, and it happens the other way around too.

"Wherever you go around the world, whether it is in Wales, Spain, Denmark or Italy, the derby has one thing in common, and that is the importance to the fans.

"It is about feelings and emotions, which is why a derby is always different.

"As a player and as a manager, you feel how important it is to the fans, and you know for yourself that it's a different game.

"Even if you have games before the derby, people are already talking about this game.

"When you know how important something is to a lot of people, then that affects you as a player and as a person because you know you are representing them."

Despite the importance of the occasion, the Swans boss insists his side must try to approach the game like any other and not let their emotions get the better of them.

He added: "The atmosphere will be different, but at the end of the day, it is still a football game which you have to analyse like any other, in order to try to win.

"When you walk onto the pitch, even if you care so much, you still have to look at it as a football game where we have to think with the head and play with the feet.

"You cannot let the emotion take over and get yourself a red card. We want to win the game, not play with one less."