Can Aston Villa Upset the Odds and Dethrone Arsenal in the FA Cup Final?

Who will lift the trophy? It should be a closer game than the bookmakers predict, with some offering odds as short as 8/15 on Arsenal retaining the trophy – with Villa as long as 11/2. It’s true: Villa have only beaten Arsenal three times in their past 15 meetings, and were soundly beaten 0-3 and 0-5 in their two encounters so far this season. But the FA Cup is a one-off, showpiece occasion, and there are so many factors that go into deciding a winner. There could well be a lack of confidence amongst the Villa players however, after they lost their last two games: a 1-6 thumping by Southampton and a 0-1 defeat to already-relegated Burnley. It will depend on how well Sherwood can alter their mindset as to whether they can get a foothold in this game or not. The form of Christian Benteke has been a silver lining for Villa fans. The Belgian has scored nine goals in his past nine games, and can be backed from 2/1 to score anytime in this match. That looks tantalising value. But it’s fair to say that Arsenal are the big favourites, and they should dominate possession – leading to the creation of a host of chances. If they can shackle the dangerous Benteke then they will firmly fancy their chances of defending their FA Cup crown. Their main man this season has been Alexis Sanchez, with 24 goals and countless assists in all competitions, but it’s Olivier Giroud who catches the eye in the goalscorer markets – the Frenchman notching 19 so far this season. The ‘Arsenal to win/Giroud to score anytime’ double can be backed from 13/10, and this looks like the best bet on a day that should be a fantastic advert for English football.]]>