Pablo Hernandez: Swansea City can topple Liverpool and Valencia
SWANSEA City head into one of the most glamorous weeks in their history with Pablo Hernandez convinced they can land two glittering results.
Michael Laudrup's men return to action after the international break when they face Brendan Rodgers's Liverpool on Monday night.
Just three days after hosting the early-season Premier League leaders, Swansea are in Spain for a Europa League tie against Valencia.
And Hernandez reckons Laudrup's side can get results in both heavyweight fixtures.
"For the players, the fans and the club, it is a week we can really enjoy," the former Valencia wideman said.
"It's big to have Liverpool and then Valencia a few days later but, if we play like we did at West Brom, we can win against Liverpool and win against Valencia."
A comfortable victory at The Hawthorns lifted the mood at Swansea during the international lay-off.
They can now take on Rodgers's in-form Reds side with the pressure eased — and Hernandez is full of confidence.
"Liverpool is a huge match for us before the Europa League," he conceded.
"They are top of the league but we are at home in the Liberty Stadium and we can beat all teams there.
"Last season not many of the big teams won at the Liberty, but we have to play like we did against West Brom if we are going to get a good result."
It is a sign of how Swansea have progressed that the Liverpool clash is not the biggest fixture of next week.
Their first ever group game in the Europa League catches the eye given that Valencia have for a long time been one of the top clubs in Spain.
And the fixture is especially appealing for Hernandez given that he spent the best part of a decade at the club.
"It's really special for me to play at the Mestalla again," he added.
"I can see all the Valencians in the club, in the city — Valencia is like a family to me. And it's very special for me and the club to play such a big team. Valencia are a big team in Europe.
"My father called me to tell me the news when the draw came out.
"I was in the car and he told me that Swansea were playing Valencia. I could not believe it but I am happy to go back.
"I did not think I would go back there as a Swansea player but it's an opportunity to play in Mestalla one more time and I will enjoy it."
Laudrup's European novices will begin as underdogs against Valencia, who won the Uefa Cup — what is now the Europa League — in 2004 and were Champions League runners-up in 2000 and 2001.
Yet Hernandez is convinced Swansea can come out on top of a qualifying pool which also features Kuban Krasnodar and St Gallen.
"It will be difficult, but I think we can come first in the group," he said.
"Valencia are a big team, but Swansea can play a good game and can win there.
"Of course, it's no easy to do that and the Mestalla is a difficult stadium to play at.
"But Swansea always play good football and do well against the big teams in England, so it can be the same in Europe."