Swansea appoint ex-Wednesday boss Carvalhal

Swansea City have announced that Carlos Carvalhal will take over as the club’s first team manager for the remainder of the season.

Carvalhal was sacked by Sky Bet Championship side Sheffield Wednesday on the 24th, which made the announcement that he would be taking over at the Premier League club a surprise.

Swansea sit bottom of the table on 13 points from the first 20 games, a record which cost Paul Clement his job with the club earlier in the month.

The only goal handed to the Portuguese manager will be to do the unthinkable and save the Swans from relegation.

The Welsh club have said that their new manager’s contract included the option of an extension when the season ends.

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins said in a statement: “We are very pleased with the appointment.

“We felt we needed to get the managerial situation resolved as soon as possible and while the timing is not always perfect, we can look forward to the second half of the campaign with renewed optimism.

“Carlos’ time at Sheffield Wednesday, which included securing two consecutive play-off places, highlighted that he has great character and personality to lead the squad and the football club, which is vital at such a crucial time.

“He has built up a lot of experience over the years which will ensure the team is structured and organised.

“He is driven and ambitious and, while he has a big challenge ahead of him, I know he will tackle it without fear.”

Freebets.org is the place to go to use a free bet to back Carvalhal to save Swansea from relegation from the Premier League this season.

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Shay Given’s seven favourite PL goalkeepers

Former Premier League star Shay Given has teamed up with BetStars to select his top seven goalkeepers in the Premier League.

Most notably, ahead of West Ham’s Carabao Cup game against Arsenal this evening, Given believes Joe Hart is still England’s number one keeper ahead of the World Cup in Russia next summer.

DAVID DE GEA

De Gea is an amazing goalkeeper. He is one of the best in the world, not just in the Premier League. Season after season he seems to be getting better and better. He is making saves using both of his feet as well as his hands! He makes things look easy. There was talk about him leaving in the summer to go to Real Madrid and even next summer, I think they’ll come back knocking on the door trying to get him away from Manchester United. He’s been United’s Player of the Season for the last number of seasons and he’s a fantastic goalkeeper.

EDERSON

Ederson was unknown to some people when he signed for Man City in the summer, but we all know now how good a goalkeeper he is! He can be the club’s long term option as he’s very young for a goalkeeper at 23. He’s got his best years ahead of him and his distribution is phenomenal. People talk about how good he is with his feet – short passes and long passes – but he’s good with his hands as well. He’s probably not been overly tested because Man City have been so dominant, but he adds composure and I’ve been very impressed with his all-round game

PETR CECH

Petr has been around for a long time now. I’ve played against him on numerous occasions and built up a friendship with him over the years. He’s still a fantastic goalkeeper, making some massive saves for Arsenal and I think he deserves a lot more credit as he’s still right up there at the top. I think he’ll play on for as long as he can, similar to myself. I know Petr, he’s a fantastic professional and he works ever so hard away from the pitch in the gym. He’ll play for a few good years yet!

JACK BUTLAND

I played with Jack Butland at Stoke and Joe Hart at Man City. I think both of them will be challenging for the number one England spot next year. Jack Butland’s a fantastic goalkeeper, he’s had a few injury problems this last couple of seasons but if he can get a full run of fitness I think he’ll be the England number one for many years, so it is a big decision for Southgate next summer, who will play – Butland or Hart.

JOE HART

Joe has come in for a bit of stick this year, but I think that’s to do with the team. West Ham are struggling a bit in the lower part of the league and I think Joe gets a lot of the grief. He’s still a fantastic goalkeeper, he’s still England’s number one goalkeeper and he will probably play next summer in Russia.

THIBAUT COURTOIS

Courtois is Belgium’s number one and the current goalkeeper of the Champions of England. He had a great season last year and he’s taken that on again to the next level. He is making some great saves and is a huge presence in goal with his size and stature.

HUGO LLORIS

He is very sharp off his line, very quick off his line, and very agile as well. The French captain, the Tottenham captain, what a fantastic goalkeeper and a leader of men.

Stephen Hendry takes ‘Name That Table’ test

BetStars put Stephen Hendry to the test to see if he could remember some of the highs and lows of his trophy-laden career in ‘Name That Table’.

We presented the seven-time world champion with three significant situations from the past, but would he be able to recognise the tables when the pressure was on?

Click on the video below and hear the Scot talk about what those matches meant to him.

Stephen Hendry was speaking on behalf of online betting site BetStars. #Callit at BetStars.

Starc issues warning to England

Mitchell Starc has warned England that they should expect things to go from bad to worse for the remainder of the winter’s Ashes.

Starc has been in blistering form, taking 14 wickets in Australia’s two victories so far, and believes he and his colleagues have the scope to step it up another gear when the series heads to Perth.

England have not won in Perth since 1978, and Australia only need victory their to regain the Ashes with an unassailable 3-0 lead – regardless of what happens in the final two tests after.

The Aussie bowler is already licking his lips at the prospect of putting England under immense pressure, on a pitch which has been long renowned for being one of the world’s quickest.

“The exciting thing is our bowling group can still get better,” said the 27-year-old left-armer.

“We’ve obviously managed to take 40 wickets in the last couple of weeks and do some really good things, but I think there’s still a lot of room for improvement.”

Starc added: “‘Gazza’ (Lyon) is bowling outstandingly at the moment.

“That allows the other three of us to do what we need to do from one end if need be.

“Then Josh does what he does and allows Pat and me to bowl as fast as we want.

“I hope we see a nice, fast, bouncy wicket – a WACA of old – and we can get stuck into their batters again.”