FOOTBALL NEWS

21/12/2012 08:31, Report by Mark Froggatt
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Preview: Swansea v United

Opposition boss: Last June, Michael Laudrup explained his decision to manage Swansea by claiming “everyone knows the style of football they play and it suits my way of thinking.” The Danish legend has impressed many since, earning the respect of fans and pundits with a style of play that is consistent with his best assets as a player, also maintaining the passing philosophy previously implemented by Brendan Rodgers, Paulo Sousa and Roberto Martinez.

Did you know? Laudrup started for Barcelona during the 1991 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final defeat to United in Rotterdam, where two Mark Hughes goals ended the Reds' 23-year wait for a European trophy.

Star man: Miguel Michu has been a revelation since signing from Rayo Vallecano in August, scoring 12 goals from 17 starts. Although bought for just £2million, Laudrup says interested parties must spend big to sign the free-scoring Spaniard. “I don’t want to let him go,” the Dane said. “Sometimes the offer can be so big you have to accept but I really don’t think clubs are going to pay so much money for him. We have the example of what Liverpool paid for Joe Allen – if they have to pay double for Michu then there are few clubs who could afford him.”

Whistle-blower: 25-year-old Michael Oliver, the youngest referee in Premier League history, will take charge on Sunday. United fans last saw the Northumberland-based official, who has dished out 124 yellow and seven red cards this term, during a 4-0 win over Wigan.

Rivals watch: Arsenal travel to Wigan for Saturday’s midday kick-off, before Manchester City host relegation-threatened Reading at the Etihad Stadium. On Sunday, Chelsea face Aston Villa.

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