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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Laudrup: Swansea can stun Valencia

Michael Laudrup believes his Swansea City side are capable of beating anyone as they prepare for their opening Europa League group match against Valencia.

Hicks: Shelvey atonement provides important lesson

Swansea travel to the Mestalla on Thursday in the first of their Group A matches, having also been drawn against Kuban Krasnodar and St Gallen.

This week's meeting versus La Liga opposition is considered Swansea's toughest test of their forthcoming European fixtures, but Laudrup, who led his team to League Cup glory last season, is optimistic.

He said: "I already know we can beat anyone in this competition. We play against teams like Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Manchester United. Teams at the same level as Valencia.

"So there is no reason why we cannot beat Valencia in a one-off game.

"If you play Valencia or Manchester United in ten games, you know they will win more than us. But in one game, or two games in the group stage, it is possible.

"It is an away game against the favourite in the group and we can look forward to it with no pressure at all. We have nothing to lose and all to win."

Speaking of his opponents, Valencia boss Miroslav Djukic said in the South Wales Evening Post: "Swansea are like a good Spanish team.

"They have good touch, they play triangles and they keep possession of the ball. They have good players, with very fast people on the wings, and they are well structured. We expect a very difficult game against a team who can play the ball."

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