PREVIEW: St Gallen v Swans

12th December 2013


The Swans will be looking to book their place in the knockout stage of the Europa League when they face St Gallen on Thursday (6pm UK time).

Michael Laudrup's side need just a point to guarantee qualification for the last 32, with Valencia having already won Group A following their victory at the Liberty Stadium a fortnight ago.

The squad endured a difficult journey to Switzerland on Wednesday after being delayed at Cardiff Airport for seven hours due to weather and technical problems.

However, they now head to the AFG Arena knowing that a positive result will see them through to the spring phase of a European competition for the first time.

Third-placed Kuban Krasnodar are Swansea's nearest challengers for second spot, with the Russians travelling to Valencia on matchday six.

The Russian side will only qualify for the last 32 if they can overturn the goal difference by winning in Spain and hoping St Gallen can claim all three points against the Swans.


TEAM NEWS

The Swans are without goalkeeper Michel Vorm (knee), while Angel Rangel and Alvaro Vazquez won't feature despite travelling with the squad to Switzerland.

 

MATCH BACKGROUND

  • St Gallen have lost all four of their Group A games since beating Kuban 2-0 on matchday one, though they also scored twice in their last home fixture, a 3-2 defeat by Valencia. They have conceded the most goals of any side in this season's group stage (13)
  • The Swiss club last played in this competition when they were eliminated in the second round of the 2001/02 UEFA Cup by SC Freiburg
  • Swansea, meanwhile, are now without a win in three Group A games, having recorded two 1-1 draws against Kuban and matchday five's 1-0 home loss to Valencia.

WHAT THEY SAID

Swans boss Michael Laudrup: "We cannot control everything, especially the weather. Of course, it's not ideal but let's not make it more dramatic than it is. It was a very long day for the players and the staff.

 "The game is at 7pm so there will be whole day to prepare for it. It's the last game in the group stage and we have to finish the job to move on to the next stage.

 "If Kuban lose or draw we can go through with a loss, but Valencia are already top of the group and are playing Atletico away on Sunday so I think Kuban have a good chance of winning the game, which means we have to do the job ourselves."