2014 champions Arsenal face-off with the in-form Aston Villa in the 2015 FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium early Sunday morning Australian time, in what is sure to be a typically fiery affair.
Arsenal contested a strong Premier League campaign but were unable to catch a runaway Chelsea over the final eight weeks of competition and finished third overall; securing a Champions League berth.
Villa appeared in serious danger of demotion to the Championship as recently as two months ago, however the arrival of manager Tim Sherwood saw a sharp turn in form for the Midlands club who were impressive in climbing away from the drop zone and particularly their run to the FA Cup Final.
We’re offering Arsenal as clear $1.57 favourites to win the 2015 FA Cup final on Sunday, however Aston Villa are more than worth consideration at a current quote of $6 to win in regular time for several reasons.
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Eleven-time winners of the FA and reigning champions, Arsenal have been touted by many as a ‘sure thing’ in Saturday’s 2015 FA Cup final and enter the fixture off the back of a comfortable 4-1 Premier League win over West Brom last weekend. As many of England’s big clubs often do, Arsenal have looked to fringe players for a good portion of their run to the FA Cup final, with names like Rosicky leading the way for the North London club. Having struggled past Reading to reach Sunday’s final, the Gunners will be keen to end their season in the best way possible and have been confirmed to field a side rich with the likes of Giroud, Sanchez and Ramsey. Following nine years without a piece of silverware under Arsene Wenger, the Gunners are just 90 minutes away from a second-consecutive FA Cup.
The enthusiasm brought to Aston Villa by Tim Sherwood in such a pivotal point of the season paid dividends almost immediately as the club saw off top opposition to book their place in the FA Cup final. Posting a last-gasp win over Championship side Blackpool in early January, the Villans continued past the newly-promoted Bournemouth and Premier League outfits Leicester City and West Brom before an impressive win over Liverpool in the semi-finals last month. Playing with confidence led by in-form striker Christian Benteke, not a lot is expected of Villa in this match which is sure to play to their strengths. Taking further confidence from lowly Hull City’s performance in defeat in last year’s FA Cup final and Wigan Athletic’s ability to see off Manchester City in 2013, Aston Villa offer exceptional value for money at current $6 odds to win in normal time on Sunday morning.
Olivier Giroud scores and Arsenal wins in normal time: $3.50
Christian Benteke scores and Villa wins in normal time: $13
Arsenal vs Aston Villa Head-to-Head
Total Games Played: 176
Arsenal wins: 73
Aston Villa wins: 62
Past 5 Meetings
01/02/2015 – Arsenal 5 vs Aston Villa 0
20/9/2014 – Aston Villa 0 vs Arsenal 3
13/1/2014 – Aston Villa 1 vs Arsenal 2
14/8/2013 – Arsenal 1 vs Aston Villa 3
23/2/2013 – Arsenal 2 vs Aston Villa 1
Arsenal vs Aston Villa Prediction
Arsenal deserve to be clear favourites to successfully defend their 2014 FA Cup title, however this may be yet another nerve-riddled trip to Wembley for the North London club. Villa successfully held Liverpool under pressure from the first kick of a ball in their semi-final and are more than in with a chance if they can do the same thing on Sunday. Christian Benteke, arguably in career best form is the secret to Villa’s chances, and will undoubtedly have to break the strong Arsenal back line several times if his side is to win. The Gunners boast talent over every corner of the pitch, and will win this match if they can stay composed. Arsenal to beat Aston Villa 2-1 in regular time.