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Osvaldo set for Amat reunion
Saints striker Dani Osvaldo could face a battle with his former Espanyol teammate Jordi Amat when Swansea visit St Mary’s on Sunday.
The pair played together at the Spanish side a few years ago, when Mauricio Pochettino was in charge of the club, but they will be on opposing teams this weekend.
With Swansea captain Ashley Williams doubtful because of an ankle injury, there is a good chance that Amat will be asked by his current boss, Michael Laudrup, to continue at |centre-half.
That would mean the 21-year-old being given the task of helping to mark his ex-teammate and Saints’ record signing.
Should he play, it promises to be a tough assignment for Amat, a product of the Espanyol youth system, who was handed his debut in 2010 by Pochettino.
The confidence of Italian international Osvaldo is high, after he scored his first goal for Saints, in last weekend’s 2-0 home victory over Crystal Palace.
Amat and Osvaldo last played on the same team in May 2011. In total, they featured together in 24 matches for Espanyol, before Osvaldo departed for Roma.
All of their appearances with the Spanish side came under Pochettino, who was at the helm from January 2009 until November 2012.
Amat left Espanyol in the summer of 2012, moving to Rayo Vallecano on loan, before Swansea paid £2.5m to bring him to the Liberty Stadium during the most recent transfer window.
Sunday’s match also represents another meeting between Pochettino and Laudrup, who oversaw a 0-0 draw when the sides faced each other in Wales towards the end of last season.
Before that, they had crossed swords three times as managers in La Liga; Pochettino with Espanyol and Laudrup with Mallorca.
The Saints boss earned one victory in those games, while Danish legend Laudrup won twice.
Both promote similar philosophies as managers, asking their players to operate at an intense level of energy, while encouraging quick passing and movement.
They also both have a desire to surround the opposition through a high-pressing game, generally in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
As players, they met three times, when Laudrup was with Real Madrid and Pochettino was in his playing days at Espanyol.
On those occasions, the Saints boss won twice, and Laudrup once.
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