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Aston Villa

WhoScored: Benteke's remarkable efficiency

Tactics And Analysis
 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...

Jack Grealish taking his chances at Aston Villa under Tim Sherwood

Jack Grealish broke into Aston Villa's first team once Tim Sherwood took charge of the club.

Jack Grealish was one of the standout players in Aston Villa's impressive victory over Liverpool in last month's FA Cup semifinal and the 19-year-old will hope to be comparably decisive on Saturday as Tim Sherwood's side seek to end their nearly 20-year trophy drought with victory over Arsenal in the final at Wembley.

Grealish was born into a Villa-supporting family in Solihull in the West Midlands and began training with the club at the age of six. He worked his way up through the ranks under...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Distracted Aston Villa conclude league season with a home defeat

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood says his side need to prove everybody wrong.
Brad Guzan and Ron Vlaar
Aston Villa's players already had their minds on Wembley.

Any hopes of a rip-roaring end to the season were extinguished by Sunday's 1-0 home defeat to relegated Burnley and with the FA Cup final just around the corner Villa need to switch themselves back on.

Consecutive defeats in the final two Premier League fixtures meant the club finished in 17th place, on 38 points -- the third season in four that this total has been achieved. That is nothing to feel particularly proud of; Villa have staved off relegation but to fail to pass the 40-point mark is simply...