Swans prepare for exciting week
4th January 2013
Michael Laudrup insists his players need to take one game at a time as they prepare to start what he describes as a "very interesting week."
The Swans host Arsenal on Sunday in the third round of the FA Cup, before turning their attention to the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final.
Following Wednesday's clash at Stamford Bridge, Laudrup's men they face a tough trip to Everton next weekend in the Premier League.
And following a successful festive period in which the Swans picked up six points from a possible 12, Laudrup is looking forward to an exciting week for the club.
"We are going into a very interesting week," he said. "We play three games in six days, in three different competitions.
"But we must take one game at a time, starting with Arsenal on Sunday.
"It will be a tough game, but we are at home which is very important. We know what to expect from them having played a few weeks ago, but I expect them to play a strong team."
The Swans came face to face with the Gunners at the start of December, with two late goals from Michu ensuring a memorable 2-0 win.
That left Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger facing strong criticism from the club's fans, with Arsenal last lifting a trophy back in 2005.
Ironically, that was the FA Cup and with the two teams set to battle it out at the Liberty on Sunday, Laudrup insists that the win at the Emirates four weeks ago will count for nothing this weekend.
"When you are a top team you are expected to compete for trophies," he said. "Therefore, there is more pressure on Arsenal at this stage.
"But the league game counts for nothing. Sunday is a new game and they could well change their team slightly.
"Bacary Sagna is back and Theo Walcott could play through the middle, so I fully expect Arsenal to play their strongest team."
Following four games in ten days over the Christmas and New Year period, the Swans rang the changes on a number of occasions as they remained unbeaten.
The pick of the results was the victory at Fulham, where Laudrup made no fewer than seven changes in a 2-1 win.
But the Dane insisted that while there may well be changes against Arsenal on Sunday, he wouldn't change the nucleus of the starting line-up.
"I won't necessarily make changes for the sake of it," he said. "But whatever players I decide to pick, our team will be competitive and we have to be because we are playing Arsenal."
Meanwhile, with the January transfer window now open, the Swans have again been linked to a number of players as they prepare to compete on three fronts this month.
But while Laudrup confirmed that he expects there to be some activity at the Liberty Stadium, he says it won't compare with the summer figures where the Swans broke their transfer record on two separate occasions.
"It's January, and a lot can happen," he said. "There will be someone coming in, but I can't say exactly what the numbers will be in terms of players coming in or going out.
"This is a club that has black numbers next to its name, which you don't see very often, but I don't think we will spend that much and we won't break our transfer record this month."