Valencia boss eyes group summit
Valencia manager Miroslav Đukić says his team are targeting a win in Thursday night's Europa League match with Swansea, in order to confirm their place as winners of Group A.
Valencia arrived in south Wales on Wednesday afternoon, in preparation for Thursday night's game (8.05pm), having already qualified for the knockout phase of the European competition.
The Spanish side currently sit at the top of Group A, one point clear of Michael Laudrup's Swans, having beaten St. Gallen at home and away and Kuban Krasnodar in Russia, following their 3-0 defeat to Swansea at the Mestalla Stadium.
A victory for Đukić's side tomorrow night would take them up to 12 points in the group, guaranteeing them top place, with one game to spare.
"We will put out the best team possible tomorrow because we want the victory to be top of the group," said the Valencia boss.
"I don't think we can draw many conclusions from the first game because I think the sending off was very determinant.
"Tomorrow will be different. It will be a very good game because both teams like playing with the ball.
"I think Swansea have their own style and that is that they like to play with the ball, but they suffer a lot when they don't have the ball. This is very typical of Laudrup's teams.
"Since the first game, I think we have improved in our play, in our movement, and we are playing better as a team.
"It's true that, at the moment, the results are not coming, and I think we need some positive results."
Meanwhile, Brazilian goalkeeper Diego Alves, who is likely to line up in between the sticks for Valencia, believes that tomorrow night's game will be very different to the reverse fixture, but acknowledges the threat Laudrup's side will pose.
"It was a complicated moment at that time, and also we had a player sent off, which made the game even more complicated," explained Alves. "But now, we have to come here to compete and try and win the game.
"I know them well because we played against them, and also because I have watched them in the Premier League.
"We know Swansea are playing at home and will want to win for their fans, and we know Laudrup's style - he likes to play a lot with the ball.
"They have a lot of talented players, and also a lot of good players that came from La Liga. If you let them play, they will kill you."