FA Cup final preview: Arsenal vs Aston Villa - What time does it start and where can I watch it?

A look ahead to this weekend's FA Cup Final at Wembley

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The Independent Football

This Saturday sees Arsenal and Aston Villa go head to head in the oldest cup competition in world football in search of FA Cup glory at Wembley. Aston Villa go into the Final having spoilt Stephen Gerrard’s fairy-tale ending with a 2-1 victory over Liverpool, whilst Arsenal benefited from a Federici error to defeat Reading 2-1.

History could be made this weekend as Arsenal seek to become the most decorated club in FA Cup history. Wenger’s men will be hoping to repeat last year’s success in the competition where they ended a 9-year trophy drought, as Aaron Ramsey’s strike in extra-time sealed a 3-2 victory against Hull City.

Both teams are going into the game on the back of a disappointing end to the season. Arsenal with one win from their final four games, finished third in the league, whilst Aston Villa managed to avoid relegation by finishing seventeenth but ended the season with a disappointing 1-0 loss at home to relegated, Burnley.

 

But under the leadership of Sherwood, Villa have found a new sense of purpose, overcoming three Premier League teams on route, in addition to a Bournemouth side that will be joining them in the top flight next season.

Aston Villa will be hoping that the competition’s reputation of producing surprising results is brought to life on Saturday afternoon bearing in mind they finished the League 37 points from Arsenal adrift which included two defeats which amounted to an eight goal deficit.

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Aston Villa fans have pictures taken with a replica FA Cup trophy

Arsenal will be hoping that their League form against the Birmingham side continues, whilst a victory for Villa would produce another instalment of FA Cup shocks. 

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 5.30pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS

Arsenal 5 (Giroud, Özil, Walcott, Cazorla, Bellerin) Aston Villa 0, Premier League, February 2015

Arsenal 3 (Özil, Welbeck, Cissokho OG) Aston Villa 0, Premier League, September 2014

Arsenal 2 (Wilshere, Giroud) Aston Villa, Premier League, January 2014

STATS

Only two clubs since 1990 have won back-to-back FA Cup’s - Arsenal in 2002 and 2003 and Chelsea in 2009 and 2010.

Aston Villa have kept just two clean sheets in their last 21 FA Cup matches.

Only George Ramsay (6 with Aston Villa) has won the FA Cup as a manager more times than Arsene Wenger (5).

Christian Benteke has scored three goals in his last three appearances against Arsenal.

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 have won 22 and lost just three of the last 34 matches in all competitions against Aston Villa (W22 D9 L3).

ODDs

Arsenal to win: 1.57

Aston Villa to win: 7.0

Draw: 4.44

CLASSIC MATCH

The last time these teams met in the FA Cup was a fourth-round tie in January 2012. Arsenal were 2-0 down going into half-time with goals from Richard Dunne and Darren Bent. But three goals in seven minutes turned the tie upside down. One from Walcott and a brace from Robin van Persie from the spot saw Arsenal win a thrilling FA Cup tie, 3-2.

TV: Live on BBC One and BT Sport 1 at 5.30pm, highlights on BBC1 at 10.50pm, Saturday.

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