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Leon Britton is booked in for a reunion at the Liberty Stadium

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 24, 2012

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LEON Britton has a copy of the Liberty Stadium's book of the week and he has had it signed by the author.

"It says something like 'To Leon, you Turkish midget'," Swansea City's midfield master reveals with a smile.

"But I haven't had a chance to read it yet."

Britton has not scanned every page of Ashley Williams's Premier League Diary, but he has already heard about some of what is inside.

There is the line, for instance, about how he is the best player Williams has ever played with.

That is praise indeed given some of the stars who have played for Swansea in recent years, not to mention those Williams has featured alongside in the red of Wales.

"I have never doubted that Ash knows his stuff when it comes to football," Britton adds through another broad grin.

"Seriously, it's nice that he has said that, especially when you consider that he is an international and he has played with some very good players.

"I saw a snippet of what he said in the Evening Post and I was chuffed.

"I think Garry Monk said something nice about me in his book too, so I think it must because I do all the centre-backs' work for them!

"It's not that I'm the best player they have played with, it's just that I make their lives easier!

"When your team-mates say things like that about you, though, it's probably the ultimate honour as a player because you train with them every day and play with them every Saturday.

"Ash is Wales captain and he is playing with some top players.

"I don't think you could say I'm better than Gareth Bale, but it's a really nice compliment.

"I will have to have a good long think who I am going to choose when I write my book!"

Williams's story of last season has caused quite a stir this week because of the swipe he aimed at Luis Suarez.

The Swansea defender described Liverpool striker Suarez as the player he dislikes most in the Premier League, and went as far as suggesting that he felt like knocking him out after the clubs met last season.

It is apparently only a coincidence that Swansea and Liverpool face each other again tomorrow afternoon.

What should be good news for sales of the book is not necessarily great for Michael Laudrup's team.

Suarez, after all, will no doubt be keen to make his point to Williams — just like he did to David Moyes a few weeks back.

The Everton manager suggested before the Merseyside derby that Suarez's habit of going to ground easily would eventually turn people away from football.

Suarez responded by inspiring Liverpool to a draw that should have been a win at Goodison Park — and celebrating one goal with an elaborate dive in front of the home dugout.

"I remember the celebration," Britton says, "but I don't know whether he will be more motivated against us because of what Ash said in his book.

"There's been a bit of press about it this week, a bit of hoo-ha, but I think once we get on the pitch, both players will just be looking to get on with the game.

"Regardless of what has been said, they are professionals and they will want to do well for their teams.

"As players you can't start worrying about what people say. On the pitch people say things all the time.

"There's always banter and things being said. You just concentrate on the football, and I'm sure that's the way it will be tomorrow."

As for Suarez, Britton points out, he is a player who will take some stopping regardless of what has been written about him.

He is the Premier League's top marksman, after all, and has been in devastating form so far this season.

"He has shown already what a good player he is," Britton adds.

"He has shown that he is motivated in every game that he plays and that if you give him chances, he will score goals."

Stopping Suarez will be key to stopping Liverpool, for the Uruguayan has been involved — either as scorer or provider — in around three-quarters of the goals the Reds have managed under Brendan Rodgers.

The Suarez story has shifted some of the focus away from Rodgers's return to Wales, not to mention that of £15 million midfielder Joe Allen.

Britton and Allen used to be Swansea's little stars, the diminutive players who shone like beacons in Rodgers's Liberty midfield.

Tomorrow they will be in direct competition, with each trying to ensure their team dictates the flow of the game.

"I remember seeing Joe coming through as a 16-year-old," says Britton, who shares an agent with Swansea's most expensive export.

"We were good mates when he was here and I was delighted for him when he got his big move.

"We have had a bit of banter this week. There have been a few texts and I've given him a bit of stick.

"But we know we will have to be on top of our game against Joe because otherwise he will dictate the tempo."

If Britton can outshine Allen, and if Williams can handle Suarez, Swansea will have a great chance of making it four positives results in four attempts against Liverpool over the last 12 months.

Rodgers was on the black and white side of the divide for the two games last season. Now, having lost to his former club in the Capital One Cup last month, the Ulsterman makes a first return to Wales.

"Liverpool is a big game anyway, but Brendan coming back along with all the other staff adds a bit more," Britton adds

"I am sure there will be a big atmosphere in the ground and a lot of noise as a result, but Brendan is someone I owe a lot to.

"He brought me back to Swansea and, if he hadn't, I've no idea where I would be now.

"I was at Sheffield United, who ended up in League One, and Swansea got into the Premier League.

"I felt I improved a lot in the 18 months I worked with him, and he gave me the chance to play in the Premier League, so I owe so much to him."

Not that the debt will count for anything tomorrow.

Swansea are in good form right now, and they are hungry to maintain momentum by humbling Rodgers once again.

Remaining tickets are now on general sale for Swansea City's home clash with West Brom next Wednesday (7.45pm). But tomorrow's meeting with Liverpool, plus the trip to Arsenal in seven days' time, are sold out.

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