Michu Swansea
Swansea forward Michu celebrates after scoring against Liverpool in their English Premier League match, September 16Reuters

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup hopes that the Spanish influence in the squad will help his side pick up a positive result against Valencia in their opening match of the Europa League group stage.

The English Premier League side have struggled a little bit in the early part of the domestic season, although they were much better in their last Premier League game against Liverpool on Monday night.

Laudrup has built quite a strong squad at Swansea and the Welsh side will be one of the dark horses to go all the way in this year's Europa League.

The Danish legend, though, is happy to just concentrate on the current job at hand when Swansea visit the  Mestalla to take on Valencia for the first time in their history - in fact it is Swansea's first competitive game against any Spanish side.

"Playing in the group stage is a great experience, playing a club like Valencia is great," Laudrup, who has both played and managed in Spain, said. "Valencia have a long history and are still a great team. They're the favourites for this group, but I think Swansea have a chance.

"We have to be careful when talking about style. The 20 teams in the Premier League don't play in the same style, as used to be the case in each country maybe 20 years ago. Maybe having Spanish players on our side will help us get a result.

"For most of my players, this will be their first competitive match outside the U.K., so it will be a great experience for them -- that's how I see tomorrow's (Thursday's) match. I'm looking forward to it, with no pressure at all."

Valencia, like Swansea, have struggled to make an early impact in their league, and manager Miroslav Djukic will hope a win in Europe will act as a catalyst in finding their feet in La Liga.

"It's very important to win and put recent defeats behind us," Djukic said. "We talked to the players at the start of the week, as they were worried. We must stay focused, continue working and stop conceding so many goals. We're all looking in the same direction, with the same aim. We just have to keep things simple, go back to basics.

"This match against Swansea is a good opportunity to improve but do we change our approach to be more defensive? That's not in Valencia's makeup. This is our moment: the moment when the team, the coaching staff and the club work together with the fans to sort out the situation."

Team News: Swansea midfielder Pablo Hernandez misses out on the chance to play against his former team after the Spain international picked up a hamstring injury. Hernandez would have been looking forward to the game, having made the switch to Swansea in the summer of 2012, after spending eight years at Valencia.

Laudrup, though, has been boosted by the news that striker Wilfried Bony is ready for action.

Valencia have no new injury concerns, but Djukic confirmed he will rest Victor Ruiz, Joao Pereira and Oriol Romeu.

Where to watch

The game is scheduled for a kickoff on Thursday, 10.30 p.m., with the match set for a Live telecast on Ten Action.

Expected lineups: Valencia: Diego Alves; Rami, Costa, Mathieu, Bernat; Canales, Parejo, Banega; Postiga, Jonas, Pabon.

Swansea: Vorm; Rangel, Williams, Chico, Davies; De Guzman, Britton; Shelvey, Michu, Routledge; Bony.

Prediction: 1-1