With only a few days left before Tim Sherwood’s revitalised Villa side take on the almighty Arsenal on the hallowed Wembley turf who do you think will come out on top? Many would suggest the might of the north London club would be too much for Villa to cope with, especially with Arsenal’s attractive free flowing football particularly suited to the large Wembley pitch. However, under new manager Tim Sherwood the Villains from the Midlands have seen their own form transformed of late, and particularly that of their star Belgian forward Christian Benteke. The Big Belgian has scored a staggering 13 goals in his last 13 outings and the Arsenal back line will have their work cut out keeping him under control. It is true that Benteke has been in blistering form of late but other pieces of the Villa puzzle, that previous manager Paul Lambert couldn’t quite seem to fit together, have also started to gel really well in recent weeks with the likes of Fabian Delph, Jack Grealish and Gabby Agbonlahor all performing well under Tim Sherwood. Having secured their premiership status in recent weeks Villa will be looking to sign off this campaign with a flourish and hope to dash Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s hopes of lifting the famous trophy two years running and breaking the record they currently hold jointly with Manchester United for most wins overall (currently both teams have 11 wins).
Arsenal will go into the game as favourites, having already secured champions league football for another season they will also be looking to add to their first trophy in nine years – last years FA Cup, and look to start to build on that success towards mounting a serious title challenge next season. Last year Arsenal got off to a poor start in the final with Hull City racing to an early 2-0 lead, they will hope to be out of the blocks much quicker this time around as Tim Sherwood’s men, in my opinion, will pose a sterner test of their abilities especially if they were to get an early lead. Jack Wilshere is hoping to get a berth in the Arsenal midfield for the Wembley showpiece having recently recovered from ankle surgery, but is by no means a certainty to start. The recent form of Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and in particular holding midfielder Francis Coquelin may pose manager Wenger problems when picking his best midfield for the encounter. If I were in charge I’m afraid the England man would be on the bench.
Whatever happens the FA Cup final is never short on drama and i’m sure we are all looking forward to this all premier league encounter. If I were a betting man I might have a sneaky few quid on the midlands side coming up trumps maybe 1-0 or 2-1 but really it’s anyone’s guess and that is what makes the cup final so exciting – you just can’t predict what’s going to happen, recent form can go out of the window and the big occasion can certainly have an effect on the players.