Swansea City-Tottenham Hotspur Preview
By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN
STATS Senior Writer
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Michu will take his Premier League-leading haul of goals for Swansea City into Sunday's matchup at White Hart Lane with Tottenham Hotspur.
The Spanish striker has turned in back-to-back braces in the league to push his goal total to 12, with boss Michael Laudrup insisting he will keep the hitman at the Liberty Stadium after joining from Rayo Vallecano.
Michu was held off the scoresheet Wednesday when Swansea got a late own goal for a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the League Cup quarter-finals.
"It wasn't a brilliant game to watch for the neutral but it was a tight cup game," Laudrup said.
The Swans joined Aston Villa and League Two club Bradford in the semi-finals, with Chelsea or Leeds United set to meet Dec. 19. Laudrup has quickly turned the focus to this weekend's trip to White Hart Lane.
"It's a great achievement from everyone," Laudrup said. "But we now want to go the extra step and get to the final. We have some very important games coming up, and Tottenham away on Sunday is perfect for us because everyone will be very focused. But whoever we play in the last four it will be special."
Swansea City sit in eighth place on 23 points - three fewer than fifth-placed Spurs entering this matchday. Tottenham have won the last 11 league meetings over the Swans at home, never losing in 14 all-time league meetings at the Lane.
Tottenham had their three-match winning streak snapped with last Sunday's 2-1 loss to Everton at Goodison Park. Clint Dempsey gave Spurs the lead in the 76th minute before they stunningly conceded twice in stoppage time.
Spurs have conceded goals when ahead by one or tied in the 85th minute four times in the league now.
"The Premiership is never over, we had another example in the Manchester derby," manager Andres Villas-Boas said. "You have to wait for the final whistle and have that belief. We fought hard, we thought we were going to get it."
With his side out of the League Cup, Villas-Boas was happy there was no midweek match after a hectic stretch of fixtures including Europa League play.
"We now have a week to prepare and that's important for us because we haven't stopped for a month or so," the Portuguese manager told the club's official website.
"Finally, we have a breather. The players can recover and I think you will see us at another level in these next two home games. I think we're not far off from where we want to be so we just have to keep on going."
Tottenham midfielder Gareth Bale faces a late fitness test on the hamstring problem, while defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto has returned to training after three months out with a knee injury.
Spurs striker Jermain Defoe remains one goal away from his sixth double-digit scoring season in the league. He has six goals in his last four games at White Hart Lane in all competitions.
These sides met for the first time in 20 years last season with Spurs posting a 3-1 home victory and a 1-1 draw at Swansea.
Updated December 14, 2012