Arsenal v Aston Villa: Five key battles

FA Cup

Arsenal and Aston Villa lock horns tomorrow for the FA Cup final.

Arsenal and Aston Villa will be looking for one final big performance in the FA Cup final tomorrow, before fans and players get a chance to break over the summer.

Here are five key battles for the game.

Per Mertesacker v Christian Benteke

All eyes are going to be on Aston Villa’s big Belgian and it will be interesting to see how the Gunners look to cope with him. Mertesacker is a player who can deal with Benteke’s physical power and the German could try to smother him to keep him out of the game.

Hector Bellerin/Kieran Gibbs v Gabby Agbonlahor

Tim Sherwood will most likely try and make the most of Gabby Agbonlahor’s pace on the counter attack. He can attack Arsenal down either side of the pitch and put the full-back under some real pressure. If Bellerin and Gibbs can isolate him, they have a good chance of keeping him out of the game.

Francis Coquelin v Jack Grealish

Aston Villa will look to get Grealish onto the ball as quickly and as often as possible. Coquelin is the player who will most likely protect Arsenal’s defence and the player who needs to get at Grealish, snap at his heels and generally attempt to intimidate him.

Aaron Ramsey v Fabian Delph

A battle between two players who are well suited to a box-to-box role for this game. Ramsey will be looking to pop up in dangerous positions late into passages of attacking play and Delph is the sort of player who can add some extra defensive strength to Aston Villa’s team.

Theo Walcott v Ron Vlaar

There is plenty of speculation at the moment over who is going to start up front for Arsenal. Theo Walcott is a good option because he has the pace needed to keep someone like Ron Vlaar on the back foot throughout the game. He won’t allow Aston Villa’s defensive line to move high up the pitch.

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