The Spanish international front man has been in fine form for the South Wales side since Paul Clement took over in January and, while he missed Sunday's goalless draw with Middlesbrough and faces a race to be fit for this evening's clash, Mauricio says he knows all about the former Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla man following his own time in La Liga.
“I played against him, both as a player and when I was manager at Espanyol,” Mauricio explained.
“He’s a very good striker, tall, strong, powerful and if he plays, we’ll have to be focused.
“We expect a tough game. It’s true that since Paul (Clement) has been in charge, the team has improved a lot with some very good results.
“They are fighting to survive and for me, every game we play against the teams playing for survival or playing for the title, they are all very tough.”
Mauricio on the challenges during Saturday's win at Burnley
“For me and the coaching staff it was natural because we know we can play in different way, we’ve been working on that from the beginning of the season. At that moment, you are paid back for that work and it can affect the game. That’s why we feel very proud of the players and we’re happy, we’re flexible, we can change and have different ways to play.”
On the state of play in the Premier League
“Now we have another big week! Every game will be important from now until the end of the season. It was an important three points at a difficult place (on Saturday) and now we are preparing for Swansea, another tough game against a team battling for survival. For us, we’re battling to reduce the gap against Chelsea – it will be another difficult game.”
On our run of 11 wins in last 14 Premier League games
“We’re showing in the last two seasons that we can be consistent and it’s important for us. It’s not easy to win every game in the Premier League, you can see how tough the competition is but we’re doing well and we need to continue to be consistent, to focus, to be concentrated and be ready to play. We need to keep going and that is our mentality, step by step, game by game.”