Swansea manager Michael Laudrup says that all the pressure for tomorrow’s FA Cup clash is on Arsenal, and that he expects Arsene Wenger to field his strongest side.
Although Swansea have beaten Arsenal twice in recent times – a 2-0 win at the Emirates last month and a 3-2 victory in the Premier League at home last season – the Dane suggests that Arsenal’s standing and the trophy-less years means it’ll be a focused and determined Arsenal side his team faces tomorrow.
“Those games mean nothing, this is a new game and it will be a different team we face. I think there is pressure on them. For them when you are a top team you are obliged to at least compete until the end to win things.
“There can only be one winner in all competitions and two teams in a final and they are expected to at least be in the semi-finals there is more pressure at this stage on Arsenal than on Swansea, that is obvious.
“Looking from the outside, Arsenal are a big club and big clubs are obliged to play in finals. They played a final the year before last and they lost, but it is many years since they won a trophy, which is why they will come here with the best team they can put on the pitch and that is what I have to look forward to.
“I expect them to put out their strongest team.”
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger says it hurts to see other clubs lift trophies but that it’s too early to talk about winning the FA Cup.
“Of course it bothers me because I am not here to watch other people win trophies,” he said. “It is important and I will give my best to win on Sunday.
“It is the first round. You cannot speak about winning a trophy, so for us it is important to show continuity and consistency, and the FA Cup is part of that. To get people to believe more in the team, it is important that we win on Sunday.
“It is an important moment of the season for us, for the team to strengthen the confidence of the team. We feel we are on a good run, but how far can we go?
“They had a very good game here. We have to give them a different response on Sunday.”