Swansea V Middlesbrough at Liberty Stadium - Match Preview
Updated Tuesday, 11th December 2012
Swansea V Middlesbrough at Liberty Stadium - Match Preview.
Laudrup craves Cup success
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup knows the club have a special opportunity to reach their first major final as he prepares his side for a Capital One Cup quarter-final against Middlesbrough.
The Swans have never previously got this far in the competition in their 100-year history.
Laudrup, who took Getafe to the Copa del Rey final in 2008 when he worked in Spain, said: "The downside with Getafe was we lost the final, but I still remember when we started in the first round all the way through to the final.
"It was very special and we also got to the Europa League quarter-finals.
"It was a fantastic year, though obviously we had to keep our eyes on the league and you have to manage that, that's the difficult part.
"That's something we could have to manage in January, but there is the possibility to maybe go and play in a final and win a trophy.
"When you are a smaller club when do you ever get the chance to play for a trophy?
"Being in mid-table or avoiding relegation is great, but it is a special feeling to win a trophy and we can do it with a cup.
"I have been to Wembley as a player, and been to finals as a manager and it's special.
"Cups are so special, you can can win, lose or draw in the league, but in the cup it is one or the other - you go on or you're out."
Garry Monk and Kyle Bartley are in line for a start.
Ashley Williams misses out through suspension while manager Laudrup may choose to rest Chico Flores with the busy festive period approaching.
Leon Britton could return in midfield from a knee injury, but goalkeeper Michel Vorm is unlikely to be rushed back from his groin injury and Pablo Hernandez is still struggling with a thigh injury.
Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray will make a series of late checks before naming his side for the tie.
Full-back George Friend has returned to training after a hamstring tear, while central defender Jonathan Woodgate and midfielder Faris Haroun are feeling the after-effects of Saturday's 3-2 npower Championship victory at Peterborough, in which both made comebacks from calf problems.
All three players will travel to South Wales and be assessed there before Mowbray makes a final decision.
However, midfielder Josh McEachran, 19, will miss out as he is ineligible under the terms of his loan agreement with parent club Chelsea.
Julio Arca (toe surgery), Rhys Williams (ankle ligaments), Muzzy Carayol and Curtis Main (both knee) are closing in on returns, but the game will come too soon for all four.