The Swans travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday to face the Blues, and Laudrup has hinted that their opponents are under pressure to earn three points.
The 48-year-old told reporters: "They have to go into the Champions League, not only because of the money but also the prestige. The top clubs feel they have to be in that competition every year. Chelsea need to be there.
"There are four places for the Champions League, but there is always that small doubt about the fourth spot because you have to play one round before you go into the group stages.
"All the big clubs want to avoid that so Chelsea will be going for the third spot."
Chelsea have yet to beat Swansea in three matches this season, drawing at the Liberty Stadium last year before they lost in the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup.