Belfast Telegraph

Given is struggling to make Wembley date

Aston Villa 0 Burnley 1

Shay Given is a doubt for Aston Villa's FA Cup final with Arsenal, boss Tim Sherwood revealed.

The veteran keeper is struggling to be fit for Wembley on Saturday after missing the 1-0 defeat to Burnley.

He had just returned to Villa's league side after almost three years without a Barclays Premier League appearance.

Jed Steer made his top flight debut against the Clarets, with Brad Guzan on the bench, and was beaten by Danny Ings' sixth-minute winner.

Sherwood said: "Shay's a doubt. We're assessing him every day. You don't often get the chance to look at a young goalie and you can only really assess them on the stage and I thought Jed did all right. We're not ruling Shay out yet."

But Sherwood confirmed Guzan would start against the Gunners next week if Given fails to recover in time from the injury he suffered in training.

"Yes," he said. "You wouldn't want to throw Jed in, he's not had much experience in a Cup final. With the injury to Shay it was an opportunity to look at Jed.

"If Shay wasn't going to make it and Brad was to get injured we'd have a problem."

Villa finished fourth bottom after another fight against relegation but Burnley's fate was already sealed before yesterday - they will be playing Championship football next season and striker Ings is likely to move on.

Belfast Telegraph


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