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Crystal Palace V Swansea at Selhurst Park : Match Preview

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Updated 21 Sep 2013 14:31:06

Crystal Palace V Swansea at Selhurst Park : Match Preview

Crystal Palace V Swansea - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Holloway reveals love of Swansea

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway has revealed watching Swansea during a spell of unemployment changed his views on how to play football.


The Eagles welcome Michael Laudrup's side to Selhurst Park on Sunday looking to secure back-to-back home wins in the Barclays Premier League, although a 3-1 victory over Sunderland was followed up by last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Manchester United.


Swansea will go in to the game on the back of a famous 3-0 Europa League win in Valencia with the likes of Wilfried Bony and Michu continuing to impress.


The Welsh outfit have been drawing the plaudits for their style of play for some years and Holloway admits his outlook on the game was altered by taking in some of their games.


"Swansea have changed how I see the whole of football," he said.


"When I was sacked by Leicester I went to watch four or five of their games and what they did made me realise how beautiful the game is and how passing and moving can make you a better defensive unit."


After an unsuccessful spell in the east midlands, Holloway moved to Blackpool and guided the club in to the Premier League with his side aiming to play a similar style of football now synonymous with Sunday's opposition.


He was ultimately unable to keep the Seasiders afloat but is now back in the top flight with Palace and is relishing the chance to manage on the biggest stage once more.


"I'm enjoying being there again," he said.


"I'm enjoying the challenge of tactics and the challenge of working people and coaching people, getting them to believe in what we are doing and get them to buy in to our ethic.


"It is really exciting, as a coach you are tested day-in, day-out at this level.


"Swansea will be heavy in possession and will move us around and try and play and that is a challenge.


"It is so exciting, the whole level and to see what it means to people, it is quite sensational really. What we want to do is keep growing and I can see signs of that already."


Midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi is suspended while Holloway himself serves the final match of his touchline ban on Sunday.


The 50-year-old may be able to call upon summer signing Jerome Thomas for the first time after he returned to training.


Swansea captain Ashley Williams is a doubt due to an ankle injury, Pablo Hernandez will definitely miss out with his hamstring strain while Neil Taylor is edging closer to a return from his thigh problem.


Boss Laudrup has told his Swansea side they cannot afford to bask in their stunning Europa League triumph at Valencia as their attentions turn to Sunday's meeting with Crystal Palace.


Swansea were emphatic winners at the Mestalla on Thursday as they made a dream start to their Group A campaign by overwhelming the 10-man group favourites, who had defender Adil Rami dismissed in just the 10th minute.


There may have been more important victories in Swansea's 101-year history, but there have been few as eye-catching as their triumph over the two-time Champions League finalists.


But Swansea have very little time to savour their moment of glory, with a trip to Selhurst Park looming quickly on the horizon.


While the Welsh side have excelled in continental competition, their start to the league season has been more difficult courtesy of facing Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool during their first four games.


The win in Valencia followed an encouraging display in Monday's 2-2 draw with Liverpool, and to continue that momentum Laudrup knows they cannot dwell on what they have just achieved.


"We have another important game on Sunday in the Premier League, so we have to move on, no matter how great a result this is," he said.


"It's important to be happy about this result, it was a great night, but we already have to think about the game Sunday.


"We cannot enjoy and savour this game for many days because we have to focus on the Premier League game, which is a very difficult away game."



PA

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