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Aston Villa

Aston Villa vs. Arsenal in FA Cup final

50-50 Challenge

WhoScored: Benteke's remarkable efficiency

Tactics And Analysis

Arsenal vs. Aston Villa - The FA Cup final's four key battles

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown speaks about his admiration for the job Tim Sherwood has done at Aston Villa, from lifting the overall mood at the club to getting more from key players like Christian Benteke.

Saturday's FA Cup final will see Aston Villa's Tim Sherwood going toe-to-toe with Arsene Wenger from Arsenal for the final domestic trophy on offer. We look at four of the key battles that could determine the outcome.

1. Laurent Koscielny vs. Christian Benteke

The first port of call was always going to be how Arsenal's main centre-back would fare against Aston Villa's star striker. Christian Benteke has rediscovered his best form under Sherwood, with 11 of his 13 Premier League goals coming once...

Aston Villa looking to deny Arsenal a second successive FA Cup

Watch the best bits from Aston Villa's run to the FA Cup final, where they face holders Arsenal.

Arsenal went nine years without a trophy before winning last season's FA Cup but now stand on the brink of their second piece of silverware in 12 months. Standing in their way is Tim Sherwood's Aston Villa, who last reached the final in 2000.

Kevin Hughes (Villa) and Andrew Mangan (Arsenal) tackle the key questions ahead of the big one at Wembley on Saturday.


FA Cup final: Arsenal vs. Aston Villa (12:30 p.m. ET)
DFB-Pokal final: B. Dortmund  vs. Wolfsburg (2 p.m. ET)

- LIVE on WatchESPN
Copa del Rey final: A. Bilbao vs. Barcelona (3:30 p.m. ET)
- LIVE on ESPN2 and WatchESPN
Friendly: Mexico vs. Guatemala (6 p.m. ET)
- LIVE on ESPNews and WatchESPN
Friendly: U.S. women vs. South Korea (7:30 p.m. ET)
- LIVE on ESPN and WatchESPN

So -- a nice routine win for Arsenal this, right?

Andrew Mangan: Absolutely not. Arsenal may have beaten Aston Villa twice this season and...

 By Andy Mitten

FA Cup final offers Tom Cleverley a chance to end the season in style

The Exploding Heads reveal everything you need to know ahead of Saturday's FA Cup final between Arsenal and Aston Villa.

As the English football season prepares for its final showpiece, Tom Cleverley is satisfied that his life is looking brighter than at any time in the last two years.

The on-loan Aston Villa midfielder has Saturday's FA Cup final to look forward to, plus his wedding the following month. He also finds himself out of contract and free to move from Manchester United, the club he's been with since the age of 13.

The 25-year-old has realised that his future isn't at Old Trafford. 2013-14 didn't go well...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Young, Kane, Delph, Kane and Hart among most improved in the Prem

The ESPN FC crew discuss the Premier League team of the year.

They are the comeback kids, those who threw back the doubts to become leading men for their teams.

While many might bemoan the 2014-15 Premier League season as one lacking in quality, here are six players who raised their game and made themselves indispensable.

Ashley Young (Manchester United)

Recriminations flew in several different directions during David Moyes' disastrous tenure at Manchester United in 2013-14. Young was a particular pariah, barracked by his own club's fans who disliked his...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Benteke's red-hot run-in ensures safety after stuttering start

Take a look at the best moments for Aston Villa during their ride to the FA Cup Final where they are set to take on Arsenal.

A final position of 17th is far from inspiring, but after a difficult season Villa were relieved just to stay in the Premier League.

The escape from relegation owed everything to a vast improvement in form when Tim Sherwood stepped in to replace Paul Lambert in February -- Villa were in the bottom three at that time but pulled clear to safety. Here's how the players in the squad rated during a challenging campaign.

Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players with fewer than 10 appearances not counted)


Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Sherwood keeps Villa up and now focus turns to FA Cup glory

Aston Villa Tim Sherwood jokes that if Tom Cleverley does not sign with his side, he will not be featuring in the FA Cup final.

With the Premier League season over, here's a look back at Aston Villa's campaign so far, with the FA Cup final giving Tim Sherwood's men the chance to end a difficult season on a high.

Your season in a sentence and final grade: C


The late season revival under Tim Sherwood was fantastic to witness, particularly the 4-0 win at Sunderland when Villa were four goals up by half-time, the 1-0 victory at Spurs in April and the last-minute derby success over West Brom thanks to Christian Benteke's...