Aston Villa's Ashley Westwood picks his FA Cup final match-winner

Jack Grealish

19-year-old Jack Grealish can be Villa's key to victory in Saturday's Wembley clash with Arsenal, says his fellow midfielder.

Aston Villa midfielder Ashley Westwood has told the club’s official website that he believes 19-year-old Jack Grealish can fire them to victory in Saturday’s FA Cup final against Arsenal.

Grealish has flourished under Tim Sherwood’s stewardship since being handed his full Premier League debut in last month’s 3-3 draw with Queens Park Rangers, earning rave reviews amid a run of eight straight starts.

Having helped Sherwood’s men secure both top-flight survival and a place in the weekend’s Wembley showpiece with his semi-final showing against Liverpool, all eyes will now be on the Solihull-native to see if he can produce another starring performance on the big stage.

The Gunners remain the obvious favourites with the bookies going into the match but, with the chance to win the club their first FA Cup title since 1957, Westwood is backing the lifelong Villa fan to be the difference-maker on the afternoon.

"Jack Grealish a special talent and a great lad and I'm sure he could be our match-winner at the end of the day,” said the former Crewe Alexandra captain. "He's a Villa fan. I think he used to stand in the Holte End.

"To have a homegrown talent in your team on FA Cup final day is what you want. The way he played in the semi-final was amazing. He was man of the match and for a 19-year-old that shows what ability he's got.

"He believes in his ability and so he should. He's a special talent. He's got the world at his feet and if he keeps playing like that, he'll go far."

Despite retaining their top-fight status for another season, Villa’s league campaign ended on a disappointing note with 6-1 and 1-0 defeats to seventh-placed Southampton and relegated Burnley, respectively, making them very much underdogs for Wembley.

That is a tag, though, which Westwood insists the squad will use to their advantage against the holders.

"The pressure will be on them. They're looking to win a trophy,” he added. "If people are saying we're underdogs, we'll relish that.

"The last two performances have been poor by our standards, but now we aim to go out there and give a good performance and bring the trophy home."

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