Since Tim Sherwood was appointed as manager after the dismissal of Paul Lambert, Aston Villa have regained some form and have played some excellent football. The former Tottenham boss has led the club to their first FA Cup final since 2000 and has helped Villa climb out of the relegation battle. We take a look at the upcoming final, which will be played on May 30th, and give our thoughts on who may come out on top. For more FA Cup news and odds, or just more general football news, click here.
Villa have been sensational under Sherwood
The Villains have improved significantly during Sherwood’s brief tenure at the club and their stronger players are beginning to regain confidence in front of goal. Belgium international Christian Benteke has scored 11 goals in his last 12 matches under Sherwood’s guidance, while the likes of Tom Cleverley and Gabriel Agbonlahor have also been in great form. If they continue to perform at a high standard, Villa will certainly be able to compete with Arsenal and with a bit of luck, will be lifting the famous trophy for the first time since 1957.
The pressure is all on the Gunners
Arsenal are the current holders of the FA Cup and all of the pressure is on them to deliver back-to-back domestic cup successes. Arsene Wenger’s side have been formidable throughout the second half of the campaign but were recently beaten by Garry Monk’s Swansea City, despite dominating the match. The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud have all been in sparkling form and caused numerous problems for some of the league’s best defences. Villa are likely to defend and try to hit Arsenal on the counter-attack, so the Gunners must remain patient if they are to achieve their second FA Cup success in as many years.
Wenger’s job may be on the line if they lose
The Frenchman’s position as manager may come under scrutiny if Arsenal do not go on to lift the trophy at the end of May. Apart from an away fixture at Manchester United, the Gunners have had a relatively straightforward route to the final and the 65-year-old will have no excuses if Villa pull off a shock victory. Arsenal supporters have been split on the Frenchman for quite some time now, but back-to-back FA Cup successes would certainly help to keep the critics off his back. However, a defeat could mark the end of his 20 year career at the club.