Routledge Bony Swansea
Swansea striker Wilfried Bony celebrates with Wayne Routledge after scoring against Stoke in their English Premier League game, November 10. Reuters
Swansea striker Wilfried Bony celebrates with Wayne Routledge after scoring against Stoke in their English Premier League game, November 10. Reuters
Swansea striker Wilfried Bony celebrates with Wayne Routledge after scoring against Stoke in their English Premier League game, November 10. Reuters

Valencia will have a bit of revenge on their minds when they travel to Swansea in the Europa League on Thursday night.

The English Premier League side thumped the La Liga team 3-0 at the Mestalla in the reverse fixture on matchday one, with Wilfried Bony, Michu and Jonathan De Guzman all finding the target.

Valencia, though, have recovered splendidly since that defeat, winning all three of their following Group A games, and top the group with nine points from four matches.

Swansea are a point behind the Spanish side on eight and both teams could already have qualified for the next stage of the Europa League by the time they kickoff at the Liberty Stadium.

If St Gallen, who have three points, can only manage a draw against Kuban Krasnodar, with two points, in the early kickoff, then Swansea will join Valencia, who have already progressed, in the Europa League round of 32.

"Even if it is a draw, we will still try to win this game because we want to be top of the group, so it doesn't change anything," Swansea manager Michael Laudrup said. "I think we are in a very good position. Now we just have to finish it.

"However, whether you finish first or second in the group, the team you face [in the next round] is more or less of the same quality. Of course, there are a couple of teams that are really good sides, but, for me, the only difference is, if you are top of the group, you will play the second-leg at home.

"On the other hand, so far, we have done quite well playing the first at home. We would like to win the group, but first of all is to move on to the knockout stage."

Valencia manager Miroslav Dukic said he will play a strong team on Thursday as the Spanish side target top spot in the group. "We will put out the best team possible tomorrow because we want the victory to be top of the group," he said. "I don't think we can draw many conclusions from the first game because I think the sending off was very determinant.

"Tomorrow [Thursday] will be different. It will be a very good game because both teams like playing with the ball. "I think Swansea have their own style and that is that they like to play with the ball, but they suffer a lot when they don't have the ball. This is very typical of Laudrup's teams.

"Since the first game, I think we have improved in our play, in our movement, and we are playing better as a team. It's true that, at the moment, the results are not coming, and I think we need some positive results."

Team News: Swansea could welcome back Pablo Hernandez from injury, with the midfielder keen to take his place in the side against his former club Valencia, where he spent eight fruitful years.

"This game is very special to me because this is my old team, but for the rest of the squad it is also very important," Hernandez said. "I missed the first game at the Mestalla but I went to the game with the squad and it was a special night.

"Valencia is my second home. I was there for eight years, and this will be a special game for my family and friends. I have trained this week with the team and hopefully I will play."

Spanish forward Michu is not expected to feature because of an ankle problem, while the game on Thursday will come too soon for winger Wayne Routledge. Valencia do not have any new injury worries.

Where to Watch Live

The game is scheduled for a 1.35 am IST start on early Friday morning with live coverage on Ten Action in India. You can also catch the action via live streaming by clicking the link HERE. To live stream the match in the U.S., click HERE. To catch it via live streaming in the U.K., click HERE. For all the action online in North Africa and the Middle East, click HERE.