May 28, 2015 16:37:23 UK
Manager Tim Sherwood says his Aston Villa are not going to Wembley this weekend just to make up the numbers ahead of the FA Cup final against Arsenal.
The Villans will be taking on a Gunners side who are looking to defend the trophy they won last season with a 3-2 victory over Hull City.
The north London outfit have a formidable record in the competition having lifted the trophy 11 times, while this year’s final will be the club’s 19th.
Manager Arsene Wenger has guided Arsenal to five of those successes and is looking to become the first post-war head coach to win the trophy six times.
In contrast, Villa have not won the FA Cup since 1957 and are 3.75 to end their long wait this Saturday at Wembley, while Arsenal are 1.30 to lift the trophy for a record 12th time.
The Gunners will be confident of retaining their title having beaten Villa twice this season, racking up a 5-0 win at the Emirates Stadium in February on their way to finishing third in the Premier League.
Those two defeats came when Paul Lambert was in charge of the midlands outfit and Sherwood believes the league meetings will have no bearing on the outcome of Saturday’s final.
The former Tottenham coach admits his team are up against it at the national stadium but believes his team have shown that they can believe on the big stage already this season in defeating Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-finals.
Sherwood said: “It’s a one-off game and form goes out the window, we know that we are the underdogs, we know that Arsenal have been there and done that.
“They are the holders of the trophy and it is going to be very difficult for us but we are not just there to make the numbers up, but to give them a good game.”
Sherwood says he has yet to decide upon his final starting XI but has been given a boost with the news Shay Given is winning his race to be fit for the final, while Kieran Richardson, Aly Cissokho and Jores Okore are also in contention.
When discussing his starting XI, Sherwood said: “The core of it is there but there are still places up for grabs and we have another day of training, but with our track record we will probably lose a couple with injuries.
“It’s hard but as a manager it’s your job and you have to pick the team and do a job for the club, it’s nothing personal it’s just about trying to win that game.”
Arsenal are 1.53 in the match market to win the game in 90 minutes, while Villa are 7.00 and the draw 4.33.
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