Swansea have already demonstrated their European might with a superb 3-0 win away at Valencia on Thursday and the Swans are capable of going on an impressive run if they can balance it with their domestic demands.
Jonathan de Guzman grabbed a brace while Michu also netted against the Spaniards, and manager Michael Laudrup’s experience in the Europa League, formerly the Uefa Cup, has already held them in good stead. Laudrup has led both Getafe and Spartak Moscow into Europe and despite their inexperience, his side do not look like novices.
On the contrary, Swansea played with the maturity expected of a European giant, not that of a team representing the UK by virtue of winning the Capital One Cup.
Laudrup’s task, however, will be to ensure that the excitement of playing in Europe does not become a distraction from matters, which in reality, are more important. The Welsh side are not yet fully established as a Premier League team and have had an indifferent start to the season.
In the next month, the Liberty Stadium will host St Gallen and Kuban Krasnodar of Switzerland and Russia respectively and sandwiching those games into an already hectic schedule will not be easy.
The Jacks are already learning the hard way how Europe can take its toll, as captain Ashley Williams injured his ankle in the run-up to the Valencia game.
Laudrup urged his side to focus on the Palace game after their stunning victory in Spain. Swansea’s squad looks strong enough to cope, particularly if they rotate heavily in the domestic cups. Only time will tell how they cope if they are still in Europe by Christmas when the notorious Premier League fixture pile-up hits and the strain on a relatively small squad could start to show.
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