Europa League Group A: Valencia there for the taking – Laudrup

Swansea v Valencia in Europa League Group A

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Swansea boss Michael Laudrup believes his side can secure a win against Valencia in Europa League Group A clash as the Spanish outfit endured ‘a very rough start’ under new boss Miroslav Djukic.

The La Liga side, who are used to competing in the Champions League, are top seeds in the tournament this season and were well fancied to progress through the group which also contains Kuban Krasnodar and St Gallen.

However, after Djukic succeeded Ernesto Valverde in June, Los Che offloaded several top players and have since lost three of their opening four matches to the new season.

Laudrup feels Valencia are a shadow of the club that were Champions League runners-up in 2000 and 2001, before going on to win two La Liga titles and a UEFA Cup under former Liverpool and Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez.

And the Dane can see no reason why the Swans, who are competing in the Europa League for the first time thanks to last season’s League Cup win, should be afraid of them.

Laudrup said: “They have been the third team in Spain for many years. Maybe at this moment Atletico Madrid are just above them.

“Having said that, they have had a very rough start. They have a new manager and they have sold a couple of their top players, like Roberto Soldado to Tottenham.

“They have had only one win in four games and on Sunday they play Sevilla, so it’s a difficult moment for them. We have to do our best and, if we do that, I think we have a good chance.”

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