Thursday 18 January 2018

Sherwood: We've got a plan that can shock Reds

Aston Villa, who have not won the FA Cup for nearly 60 years, face Liverpool tomorrow seeking a bit of glory in a season which has been marked by a desperate fight to retain their top-slight status.

Villa have lost the last six FA Cup meetings between the clubs but can point to a 1-0 Premier League victory at Anfield early in the season when Gabriel Agbonlahor scored the only goal. Manager Tim Sherwood (below) admitted that Agbonlahor was "touch and go" to play in the semi-final because of a hamstring injury.

If Agbonlahor is absent, Villa will be even more dependent on Belgian international Christian Benteke, who has been revitalised since Sherwood took over in February, scoring eight goals in his last six games.

The Midlands club are still not entirely safe from relegation, standing six points above the bottom three.

"The livelihood of the club and relegation are not at stake on Sunday, it's about us maybe getting some glory," Sherwood said. "We have to impose ourselves on a very good Liverpool side and that's what we intend to do. We think we've got a good blend, we've got a plan and we hope we can affect Liverpool."

Sherwood also confirmed that defender Ciaran Clark, who suffered a knee injury in the win at Sherwood's former club Tottenham last week, will miss the game and may be out for the rest of the season.

Cup winners as long ago as 1887, Villa last reached the final in 2000 and have not lifted the trophy since beating Manchester United's "Busby Babes" in 1957.

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