Swansea boss Michael Laudrup faces defensive crisis

The Dane has had an excellent start to his Premier League campaign, but now faces his first difficult patch after losing key players at the back, including Neil Taylor

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup is facing a defensive crisis ahead of their game ahead of this weekend's game against Aston Villa.

The Swans remain undefeated with two wins and a draw this season and lie second in the table, but it was their last fixture against Sunderland which proved costly.

Left-back Neil Taylor broke an ankle which ruled him out for the rest of the season, while Chico Flores was banned for three games after he was shown a straight red card.

15/2 Aston Villa are 15/2 with Paddy Power to beat Swansea 2-1 on Saturday

During the week, Kyle Bartley ruptured his quad and will be out for around three months as well.

Laudrup brought in free agent Dwight Tiendalli as cover, and Alan Tate is set to partner Ashley Williams this weekend.

Laudrup told reporters: "It has been a bad couple of weeks. We all remember what happened to Neil and after that we have had another injury, not as serious, but a very difficult and rare muscle injury for Kyle.

"Then of course we have Chico suspended for three matches. It's typical, to lose three defenders like this.

"But we have a squad and we have prepared them to play from the beginning, we did not think about serious injuries at that time but we are covered, we have players.

"Dwight is coming in to cover left-back so we don't only have Ben for the rest of the season and I think we are covered."

Laudrup is delighted with the form of Wayne Routledge, Nathan Dyer and Jonathan de Guzman, which could see new signing Pablo Hernandez on the bench.

He cotinued: "We have three players for two positions, we have three great players and we all know Saturday is not the only game.

"We have a lot of games and to have three such good players is good for everyone. It is good for us as a club.

"Two will start and one will be on bench, and in some games we have the options to play all three.

"It brings competition and that means they will always keep themselves under pressure. If we had this in all positions it would be very good."

It was a difficult international period for some of the squad. Ashley Williams played in the 6-1 defeat by Serbia, which saw Ben Davies and Jazz Richards on the bench, whilst striker Itay Shechter was in the Israel squad that lost 4-0 to Russia.

He said: "We have players coming back from very different results, but now they are here and back in the group, hopefully they will recover so they are fit mentally for the game Saturday."