Today's media round-up
15th October 2013
Among today's press stories, Barcelona star Andres Iniesta has backed Swans star Michu after he made his international debut for Spain.
There are fitness updates on Wales pair Ashley Williams and Ben Davies while South Korean Ki Sung-Yueng targets a return to action for Sunderland next week as his loan club meet his parent club this Saturday at the Liberty.
South Wales Evening Post
Spain star backs Swansea City's Michu
Barcelona star Andres Iniesta reckons Michu should be congratulated - not criticised - after making his debut for Spain.
Michu has faced some flak in the Spanish media having won his first Spanish cap in the win over Belarus last Friday night.
But World Cup winner Iniesta has defended the Swansea City forward, who hopes to play some part when Spain face Georgia tonight.
"The criticism of Michu is totally misguided and without foundation," Iniesta said.
"He should be congratulated for debuting with the national team because it is not easy to reach this team and his work has been very good, so that is why he is here."
South Wales Evening Post
Davies could boost Swans for Sunderland, but Williams doubts remain
Swansea City have fingers crossed that Ben Davies will face Sunderland - but skipper Ashley Williams may be forced to sit out again.
The two defenders have sat out Wales duty because of injury, with Davies nursing a hamstring strain while Williams struggles with an ankle problem.
And while there are no guarantees at this stage, Davies looks the more likely of the duo to be fit to feature when Michael Laudrup's men face the Black Cats on Saturday.
The left-back felt his hamstring in the dying minutes of Swansea's defeat at Southampton nine days ago and was initially ruled out for between two and three weeks.
But Swansea are optimistic that Davies will be fit to train later in the week and, if he comes through okay, he will then be a probable starter against Sunderland.
Williams has not yet been ruled out of the weekend, but he is rated as doubtful because of the ankle sprain which has seen him feature in only one of Swansea's last six matches.
There is better news of fellow centre-back Garry Monk, who is due back in full training today after picking up a knee injury in the Capital One Cup defeat at Birmingham.
Jonathan de Guzman is also expected to be fit for Sunderland's visit despite withdrawing from the Holland squad with a groin problem which ruled him out at Southampton.
And Pablo Hernandez is on course to be involved against Gus Poyet's new club having been sidelined with a thigh injury since his matchwinning display at West Brom back on September 1.
Laudrup, meantime, must hope the likes of Michel Vorm, Wilfried Bony, Neil Taylor and Michu return unscathed from international duty.
Ki wants to play again Newcastle after missing Swans v Sunderland
Ki Sung-Yueng is already eyeing a recall for the Wear-Tyne derby after reaping the rewards of a regular starting spot.
On-loan Swansea midfielder Ki has found himself back in the international picture after starting all five of Sunderland's games since arriving at the Stadium of Light 48 hours before the transfer deadline.
The 24-year-old impressed in his first appearance for South Korea since March in Saturday's defeat to Brazil and he is expected to keep his place for today's friendly with Mali.
Ki believes his form has improved since joining the Black Cats after being limited to just three substitutes appearances for Swansea, since falling down the pecking order at the Liberty Stadium.
But new Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet will be forced to replace Ki for his opening game in charge at Swansea on Saturday, with the 24-year-old unable to face his home club under the terms of his loan.
Ki hopes he has done enough in his performances for Sunderland so far though to justify a return to the starting XI against Newcastle United eight days later.
"I can't play against Swansea which is disappointing, but I hope the boys can play well," he told SportMail.
"Hopefully I will be back in the team for the Newcastle game.
"I feel much better now after playing a few games.
"I think I'll be stronger when we start again after the international games too.
"I'm pleased to be back in the Korea squad and I'm enjoying playing against some good teams.
"I haven't been in the squad for a long time, so I'm trying my very best."