Rodgers: Swans will attack United
Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers has vowed to take the game to Manchester United on Saturday - and insists all the pressure will be on the Premier League champions at the Liberty Stadium.
United will visit south Wales for the first time in almost 30 years for a game that is arguably the biggest in Swansea's 99-year history.
The 10th-placed Swans are unbeaten at home so far this season, and have never lost when United have come calling, chalking up six wins and two draws from their eight meetings, including a 2-0 win at their former Vetch Field home in 1982.
While Rodgers and company have made a promising start to life in the top flight, the visit of the 19-time league champions is unquestionably a big step up from hosting and beating the likes of Bolton and West Brom, but the Northern Irishman expects his players to rise to the challenge.
"Our approach will not fundamentally change," Rodgers said. "We want to dominate the game with the ball, and the statistics show that we have been able to do that this season.
"Obviously you have to retain the caution of knowing that players at this level have a higher quality, especially against one of the top European sides with a number of players that can hurt you.
"But Kenny Dalglish said after our draw at Anfield that they couldn't string five or six passes together, which was good for me to hear because we work hard on getting the ball back quickly. So our idea of the game will be the same, it will be creative and offensive but our five clean sheets also show that we are tactically disciplined.
"It's a fantastic game for us, in the big games we are the underdog but we arrive in the game with confidence and belief that if we play to our maximum we can get a result. It will be an incredible atmosphere.
"It's an early evening kick-off and it will feel like there are 50,000 in the stadium, so with that and our qualities we will try to exploit that if they have an off day.''
Second-placed United will start as overwhelming favourites to claim the spoils come Saturday evening, but Rodgers says that expectation brings a pressure of its own, one which will be added to if Manchester City can beat Newcastle and open up an eight-point lead over their local rivals prior to kick-off in Swansea.
"They won't have any fear of coming here, that's why they are at that level,'' he said. "But these are games the big teams need to win. When you are at a big club you are judged on the big games, because these are the games you should win. If you invest millions of pounds into a team then these are games they should win.
"That's why they are judged when they play against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham, because that's the level they are at.''
Rodgers also paid a glowing tribute to United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who recently celebrated his 25th anniversary at Old Trafford.
Rodgers had a spell with United as a trialist early in Ferguson's reign, and while he did not make the grade as a player, with a brilliant crop of players such as Ryan Giggs working their way through the system, he admits the Scot has been an "inspiration'' since he moved into coaching.
"He is a wonderful inspiration to young managers like myself, and he is the boss of all managers, he has a great hunger and ambition to achieve and remain at the top,'' he said. "You have to admire how he has managed change over the last 20-odd years.
"When I was going there as a 14-year-old in 1987 they were talking about moving from the Cliff training ground, which had so many big traditions and had seen so many great players, and yet he managed to do that and retain the ideals of the club. The way he has adapted with the game but retained the class and morals is what has kept the club successful.''
Rodgers will have to decide whether to restore Scott Sinclair to his side after a tight hamstring relegated him to bench duty in the goalless draw at Anfield, with Wayne Routledge impressing in his place.
Neil Taylor is available after picking up an ankle injury but the game comes too soon for centre-half Steven Caulker to make a return from the knee problem he suffered against Arsenal in September.