PREVIEW: Swans v Valencia

28th November 2013

The Swans will be looking to secure their place in the last 32 of the Europa League when they face Valencia at the Liberty on Thursday (8.05pm).
Michael Laudrup's men recorded a 3-0 win over Valencia on matchday one, and the home side know a win tonight will secure passage to the knockout stages of this season's competition.
Valencia booked their place in the next stage with a hard-fought win over St Gallen on matchday three.
The Spanish side's 3-2 victory in Switzerland meant they leapfrogged Swansea to go top of Group A on nine points.
In doing so, they were one of eight clubs to already seal their place in the next round of the competition - and they can confirm top spot with victory at the Liberty Stadium tonight.
However, Swansea will be hoping for a repeat of matchday one when Wilfried Bony, Michu and Jonathan de Guzman all found the net as Valencia were swept aside at the Mestalla.
Meanwhile, Valencia's record in 34 games against English league sides reads W10 D15 L9 - including a 0-0 draw against Arsenal in Brussels in he 1979/80 European Cup Winners' Cup final.
The nine previous games between Welsh and Spanish clubs in UEFA club competition have ended W4 D3 L2 in the Spanish sides' favour.

MATCH BACKGROUND
Swansea remain unbeaten in Group A and have not lost a European home game this season (W3 D1).
Meanwhile, Valencia are unbeaten in five European away games (W4 D1) since a 2-1 defeat at eventual champions Bayern Münich in last season's Champions League group stage. Oddly, their last away defeat in the Europa League also came against the side that would go on to win the trophy, 4-1 at Atlético Madrid in the 2011/12 semi-finals.
Valencia made it through to the knockout rounds in both of their previous group stage attempts in this competition - in 2008/09 and 2009/10. They have not had a European season that has been over by Christmas since 2007/08, when they finished bottom of their Champions League group.

MATCH FACTS
  • Valencia had the most shots on target in the first four matchdays (30)
  • Chico Flores played alongside Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves and forward Pablo Piatti at UD Almería (2008-10), while Pablo Hernandez spent four years at Valenica between 2008 and 2012, playing over 100 games and featuring in both the Europa League and Champions League
  • Valencia defender Víctor Ruiz was a team-mate of Swansea's Jordi Amat (2009/10) and Álvaro Vázquez (2010) during his time at RCD Espanyol.
  • Other Swansea players with substantial Spanish experience include Jonathan De Guzmán (RCD Mallorca and Villarreal CF), Roland Lamah (RCD Mallorca) and Ángel Rangel
  • Current Valencia players who have featured in England include Antonio Barragán (Liverpool), Oriol Romeu (Chelsea), Daniel Parejo (QPR) and Hélder Postiga (Tottenham)
** Don't forget, you can follow live updates from the Liberty Stadium on Twitter via @SwansOfficial or the official website.