Laudrup warns of Lukaku threat

  • Last Updated: March 7 2013, 15:49 GMT

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has identified Romelu Lukaku as the man his side must stop when they meet West Brom at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

Michael Laudrup: Wary of Lukaku threat
Michael Laudrup: Wary of Lukaku threat

The 19-year-old Belgium international striker has made a big impression for the Baggies while on loan from Chelsea, scoring 12 goals including a double in the recent 2-1 victory over Sunderland.

Lukaku also found the net when Steve Clarke's side were beaten 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium back in November, and Laudrup is wary of the youngster's pace and power.

He said: "They have talent and speed up front with Lukaku and we are aware of that, especially in transition and on the counter-attack.

"They will be playing at home but we always like to have the ball, so we have to be careful there because we know Lukaku is so fast.

"He means they can go with two or three passes and move from their 18-yard box to ours in three seconds if we give the ball away.

"They are a strong side. We are two of the major surprises in the league this season - we both have 40 points with 10 games to go - and nobody could have thought that back in August."

Swansea produced arguably their best 45 minutes of the campaign to date when the sides last met.

West Brom had headed to south Wales in third place in the table but were ruthlessly cut apart and fell 3-0 down, with Lukaku's goal on half-time a mere consolation.

Laudrup would love to see a repeat, but believes his side also learnt a valuable lesson that night.

"It was one of our best performances, it was fantastic what we did in that first 44 minutes and 30 seconds," said Laudrup.

"We played fantastic one-touch and two-touch football and scored three great goals, but it also showed us what football is about.

"We could have scored five goals and (goalkeeper) Gerhard (Tremmel) could have caught a cold down there in the first half.

"But then they scored and the second half completely changed, they had confidence that they could get back in the game.

"We won the game but it showed us you can play so well and things can change.

"But we know it will be another difficult game because their home record is great."

Part of that November success was down to Laudrup's decision to field Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge and Pablo Hernandez as a rotating trip behind Michu, with the three wingers causing West Brom all manner of problems.

The ploy has also worked in the Capital One Cup final win over Bradford and the emphatic league victory over QPR.

But Laudrup was cautious when asked if would use the same system this weekend.

He said: "It is a possibility, we have done it sometimes and done great, but a couple of times it has not been so great.

"So we have to analyse what game we expect. Just because we did it at home does not mean you do it away from home as it is a different challenge, but we could use them again."

Defender Chico Flores remains sidelined by his ankle injury, while midfielder Kemy Agustien is ruled out with a quad injury.


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