Leighton James column: Swansea City will not lose focus ahead of Liverpool
SWANSEA City might have been in danger of taking their eye off Monday's match — but that won't happen with Liverpool visiting.
The Europa League trip to Valencia on Thursday is a mouth-watering match by anyone's standards.
And as there are a number of players new to Continental competition in Michael Laudrup's squad, it could have been a major distraction.
But I don't think there is any danger of people losing sight of Liverpool — that is always a massive game in the calendar.
And Swansea will need to be fully focused because the Reds are a much better side than they were last season.
Brendan Rodgers has started to make his mark on Liverpool by sorting the wheat from the chaff.
He has brought in new recruits and they look to be gelling.
Liverpool are top of the table after winning all three of their opening games, with a victory against champions Manchester United coming in that sequence.
Daniel Sturridge is one Rodgers's signings who is beginning to blossom.
He has scored five goals in just four games and looks to have real quality.
I rate him highly, but it's one thing to perform well in the first month of the season.
The real test is to maintain that standard for the entire campaign.
As I say, I reckon Liverpool are stronger than last term.
But though they sit at the summit, I don't think they are realistic title-contenders.
I can't look beyond the big three of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea when deciding where the championship will end up.
They will compete for top honours, while Liverpool will join Spurs and Arsenal in the battle for fourth.
But the Reds are capable of claiming that place, and I think booking a Champions League spot would represent a good season for all concerned at Anfield.
Swansea will be in good spirits after their win against West Brom.
Even though that was a long time ago, a feel-good factor will have hung over the Liberty for the entire international break.