EPL News and Notes: January 18th

Monday’s EPL News and Nuggets

How to lose a manager in 10 days

Mere days after confirming Alan Curtis was to stay in the job at Swansea until the end of the season, chairman Huw Jenkins has made an about-turn with the appointment of Francesco Guidolin reportedly imminent. The 60-year-old Italian will sign a short-term deal that is likely to last until the end of the season and his first game will be the trip to Everton next Sunday.

Curtis’ short time in sole charge of the club saw him achieve just one win in six games and the early season pace-setters are staring down the barrel of a possible return to the Championship after slipping into the drop zone at the weekend.

Swansea will be the 14th club of Guidolin’s managerial career, which has all been spent in Italy except for one season managing Monaco in France’s Ligue 1. Guidolin comes with decent pedigree from his days at Udinese where he reached the UEFA Champions League Final Playoff stage in two straight seasons, losing narrowly to Arsenal and Braga on each occasion.

Shaw’s coming back soon…or is he

Louis van Gaal is either trolling all England and United fans or he’s telling the truth. That’s all we can deduce from the latest Luke Shaw news after LVG told us that he may be close to a return from injury…or perhaps he isn’t. Not even LVG seems to know. LVG’s words went like this:

“His bone is growing and that is very positive. He could return ahead of schedule, yes. But when I say that, then everybody thinks he is coming back within three months and it is not like that, you cannot say that. He needs time. At this moment he is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation, but there are also weeks when he is slow,” van Gaal said.

Make of that what you will.

Shaw broke his leg in a UEFA Champions League defeat to PSV Eindhoven back in September and even the most optimistic of estimates pegged a return this season as highly improbable.

Since then Man Utd have played with a mix of Matteo Darmian, Ashley Young and various different youngsters at the position. The enforced experiment has been very up and down, and the return of Shaw before the end of the season would be a boost for LVG, United and England fans, and daily fantasy football players.

Remember: FA Cup ties this midweek

Any daily fantasy managers building their teams for the weekend fixtures should remember that no fewer than five Premier League sides are in FA Cup Third Round Replay action. Tuesday sees Aston Villa welcome Wycombe to Villa Park whilst West Brom visit manager-less Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

On Wednesday, Tottenham go to Leicester in a clash involving two of the Premier League’s top four sides and Liverpool take on Exeter. All five teams are likely to rest some players, however, look out for those that play a full 90 minutes and possibly even extra time on top of that. It should come into your thinking ahead of the weekend’s games as starting line-ups will be altered as a result.