Arsenal v Aston Villa: FA Cup Final 2015
It’s Arsenal v Aston Villa in an early evening FA Cup final from Wembley with Arsene Wenger’s team looking to become the first team to successfully defend the FA Cup since Chelsea in 2010
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After a strong finish to the season which saw them lose just one of their last ten league games, Arsenal can be confident against an Aston Villa side that survived relegation by just one place.
Finishing 12 points off the top of the table, Wenger knows there is some improving to do ahead of next season if they are to have a serious tilt at the trophy in 2015/16, but those issues are for another day. The task ahead is lift that FA Cup again, and the Frenchman at the helm knows his side are better, man for man.
He’ll also be keen to avoid the drama of last season where his team went 0-2 down inside eight minutes against Hull, only to emerge victorious after extra time. Tim Sherwood is a prime motivator and Arsenal must be ready to face down pumped up, determined opposition. Mental toughness is the name of the game in a cup final, and there are still question marks over this Arsenal side on that front.
Danny Welbeck is likely to miss this game with a knee injury.
Tim Sherwood was tasked with keeping a misfiring, goal-shy, unconfident Aston Villa in the Premier League this year, and he’s achieved that. Although they only finished one place above the drop zone, the Midlanders were safe before the final day and this FA Cup final is a bonus for fans who weren’t expecting to have much to crow about halfway through the season.
It’ll be a fairly difficult task to get past Arsenal here; Wigan aside, there’s not really been an upset in the cup final since Everton in 1995, and although Hull came close last year it’s telling that the Gunners were able to let their quality shine through eventually.
The performances of Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph will be key, as will the way Villa deal with Arsenal’s movement – if they can frustrate the north Londoners and make it tough for them, Sherwood knows he has the quality to hurt them at the back.
Shay Given is unlikely to feature due to a groin injury and Kieran Richardson may join long-term absentees Ciaran Clark and Chris Herd on the sidelines, also.
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After nine barren years at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger is now looking to retain the FA Cup that they eventually won last year. Two goals behind inside ten minutes, in 2014’s final they eventually rallied to beat Hull City 3-2 after extra time. As against Hull, the Gunners are strong favourites to win on Saturday as they take on an Aston Villa side who only narrowly survived in the Premier League with 38 points.
Neither side have required a replay on their way to Wembley and while Villa have enjoyed home advantage in the competition all the way to the semi final when they beat Liverpool 2-1, they did have to get past three Premier League sides en-route. Arsenal had a couple of tricky away ties to navigate, especially in the quarter-final where they had to travel to Old Trafford, emerging as they did with a 2-1 victory before eventually beating Reading 2-1 after extra time in their semi-final.
Villa lost their way in the league after they were mathematically safe, losing against Southampton away (6-1) and then against an already relegated Burnley (1-0) at Villa Park on the final day. While Arsenal smashed West Brom at the Emirates last week 4-1 as players made their bid for a place this week, but that was their only win in their last four starts, losing at home to Swansea (1-0), drawing at Old Trafford (1-1) and with Sunderland (0-0) at the Emirates.
The Villans were also comprehensively beaten in their two Premier League games this season against the Gunners, conceding eight times in the process (0-3 Villa Park & 5-0 Emirates)
Arsenal’s three FA Cup games at Wembley over the past year or so have had a similar pattern – they’ve triumphed, but not over 90 minutes. They needed penalties to scrape past Wigan in last season’s semi-final, then extra-time to beat Hull in the final last year (3-2) and Reading in the semi this year (2-1). All these games have been against inferior opposition, too.
Villa offer a similar challenge, and I feel Sherwood might be able to blunt Arsenal initially – before the quality of Wenger’s almost-fully-fit squad shines through. Introductions of Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky proved crucial midway through extra-time last season, and we fancy something similar here – Arsenal to win in extra-time at 10.00.
- Arsenal and Aston Villa have been drawn together in the FA Cup 10 times, with Arsenal winning seven and Aston Villa three.
- This is the first time these sides have met in an FA Cup final.
- The last FA Cup meeting between these sides was in the fourth round in 2012, when Arsenal came back from two goals down to win 3-2 at the Emirates Stadium.
- Aston Villa’s last FA Cup win against Arsenal was in the fourth round in 1974, when they drew 1-1 at Highbury before winning the replay 2-0 at Villa Park.
- Aston Villa have won only one of the last nine meetings in all competitions. Their only win since May 2011 was 3-1, in the Premier League, at the Emirates Stadium in August 2013.
- Arsenal are the holders of the FA Cup, after beating Hull 3-2 at Wembley last May. They are the joint-most successful side in FA Cup history, having lifted the trophy 11 times – the same as Manchester United.
- Arsenal have reached the FA Cup final for the second successive year, after failing to reach this stage in the previous eight seasons. It is their 19th FA Cup final – a record for any side.
- Only three clubs have lifted the FA Cup on more occasions than Aston Villa, who have won the trophy seven times. Their seven FA Cup wins came between 1887 and 1957.
- This is Aston Villa’s first FA Cup final since 2000, when they lost 1-0 to Chelsea at Wembley.
- Sixteen of the last 21 FA Cup finals have seen only one team find the net
- Eight of the last nine FA Cup matches involving Aston Villa have been settled by a one-goal margin
- Olivier Giroud has scored in each of his last three games against Villa
Aston Villa have kept just two clean sheets in their last 21 FA Cup matches. Over 2.5 goals is 1.89.
Villa have played in the FA Cup final 10 times, winning seven. They are priced at 4.00 to win the cup.
This will be Arsenal’s 19th FA Cup final, a record for any team, and have won a joint-high 11 FA Cup finals. Arsenal are 1.32 to win the cup for a 12th time.
Olivier Giroud has scored seven and assisted four goals in his 13 FA Cup appearances, and has scored in each of his last three games against Villa. Giroud is 2.42 to score.
Only George Ramsay (6 with Aston Villa) has won the FA Cup as a manager more times than Arsene Wenger (5). Arsenal are 1.57 to win within 90 minutes.
Arsenal and Aston Villa have been drawn together 10 times in the FA cup with the Gunners winning seven and the Villans three. Arsenal are 2.42 to win half-time/full-time.
The last FA Cup meeting between these two sides came in 2012 when Villa led 2-0 at half-time only to see the Gunners overturn the deficit in a seven minute period in the second-half to record a 3-2 win. The half-time Villa/full-time Arsenal double result is 25.00.
Christian Benteke has scored three goals in his last three appearances against Arsenal. Benteke is 3.85 to score.
Mesut Özil has two goals and two assists in three appearances against Aston Villa. He is 4.60 to score.
Eight of the last nine FA Cup matches involving Aston Villa have been settled by a one-goal margin. Six of the last eight have seen a 2-1 scoreline. Villa are 25.00 to win 2-1.
All eight FA Cup finals at the new Wembley have been won by a one goal margin. Arsenal are9.80 to win 2-1.
16 of the last 21 FA Cup finals have seen only one team find the net. Arsenal are 5-0 to win with our limited offer!!!!.
Arsenal to win @ 4.0 with our limited offer
However, Wenger has admitted he’s wary of Villa’s crossing towards Christian Benteke so we’ll have a bit of
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