Villa’s season suddenly looks far rosier with FA Cup semi-final

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There is an immortal question in football that is supposed to test a fan’s ambition for his or her club that applies to Aston Villa this season: “Would you rather win the FA Cup or survive Premier League relegation.”

Judging by the reaction of Villa fans as their side knocked local rivals West Brom out of the famous cup competition this weekend, it seems very much they’d rather experience the joys of the former, rather than the deflating depression of the latter.

Tim Sherwood’s new club have played West Brom at home twice in the space of a week. The league encounter was far more dramatic, with a last-minute Christian Benteke penalty earning the claret and blue Midlands bragging rights and a vital win.

Yet it was in dying stages of the far more run-of-the-mill 2-0 triumph over Tony Pulis’ Baggies that home fans spilled on to the pitch in sheer uncontrollable delight. It seems the prospect of a trip to Wembley in an FA Cup semi-final is far more important to them.

Of course, the crows trouble that marred the clash at Villa Park was far more serious than mere celebratory delight, however it seems that the Villans have allowed themselves to dream a fanciful dream with just two games standing between them and a first piece of domestic silverware since 1996.

Ladbrokes makes Sherwood’s men 7/1 chances in the betting market, a price that will likely be looked on favourably by Aston Villa fans considering the composition of the draw around them.

One of Manchester United or Arsenal will exit the competition on Monday night, while one of Bradford or Reading will definitely be in the last-four draw. Should Blackburn ruin Liverpool’s hopes, then all thoughts of relegation will likely fly out the window.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.