Belfast Telegraph

Swansea eye City shock to halt worrying slide

Jordi Amat accepts struggling Swansea are about to embark on a tricky sequence of games in their quest for Premier League points.

The Swans are without a win in any competition since August 23, when they knocked League One club Peterborough out of the EFL Cup.

And life is not about to get any easier, with unbeaten league leaders Manchester City back at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday after their 2-1 midweek EFL Cup win, followed by Liverpool next weekend before facing Arsenal away.

"We know this is a difficult run with City, Liverpool and Arsenal coming up, but we cannot complain. We have to try and get points," Spanish defender Amat said.

"The important thing is to focus on us and how we can perform.

"The game on Wednesday was better, and we are ready for these games. We know how to win these sort of games, and that is what we will try to do."

Despite the League Cup loss to City, Amat feels it was a positive performance that will put Swansea in good heart for a second meeting with Pep Guardiola's side.

It comes, though, against a backdrop of increasing speculation surrounding Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin's future, given recent results.

"It (Wednesday's game) was a big test for us, and we learnt a lot," Amat added. "We showed more what our ideas are, and how we are looking to play across the rest of the season.

"For Saturday, we will know what to do. We have to improve some details, but the reaction and the feeling was good."

Amat, who spent his early career in LaLiga with Espanyol, accepts it will be a tall order to halt City's supreme progress under Guardiola that has seen them reel off nine successive wins in all competitions.

"You can see he is doing a great job with the team," Amat said. "We have to think about how to play against them and how to beat them.

"But it is not intimidating to face him. He is human.

"As Spaniards, we are proud of him and he is doing a very good job - as he did at Barcelona and at Bayern Munich - but in the end, it is football and it is 11 versus 11.

"We showed we can compete against them, we were just a bit unlucky, but let's see. We have more opportunities to score goals with Borja, (Fernando) Llorente and Gylfi (Sigurdsson) all fit and ready to play."

City, though, could have star striker Sergio Aguero back in their ranks following his completion of a three-match ban, offering Guardiola another world-class attacking force.

"I have played against him (Aguero) a few times, not just in England, but in Spain when he was at Atletico Madrid, so I know him and what a top player he is," Amat added.

"But no matter how much you know, he will always be a difficult player. He is so quick and so aggressive in front of goal, so we need to be aware of that and try and play better again.

"On the pitch, you try to think about how you can stop players like that. What is your best way? We watch him every week, so we know how he plays.

"People may talk about whether we can put him off his game, but he is a top player."


From Belfast Telegraph