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Ron Vlaar delivers blow to Arsenal and Man United

Arsenal and Man United target Ron Vlaar has revealed he could yet sign a new deal with Aston Villa this summer.

That is one happy face. Credit: PA

The defender is out of contract at the end of the season and was expected to quit the club, with talks on hold until they seal survival in the Premier League.

But after helping Villa to the FA Cup final against Arsenal after Sunday's 2-1 win over Liverpool, Vlaar insisted it is possible he could extend his stay.

"Yes it is," said the 30-year-old, who signed from Feyenoord in 2012. "Things have changed for me in the past few months since Sherwood took over.

"It's been a hard season for me with all the injuries. Now I just want to play and be important for the team. This helps - you can trust me on that.

"I don't know about my future but to be part of this feels so good. To feel the joy and relief after the West Brom game (the quarter-final). So many people came on the pitch.

"The impact for the fans; how big this club is and what it all means - I called my dad and said 'This really means something'. It's great. Everything helps."


Given to start against Liverpool at Wembley

Given will start at Wembley. Credit: PA

Boss Tim Sherwood has confirmed Shay Given will start Aston Villa's FA Cup semi final against Liverpool.

The veteran keeper turns 39 on Monday and will face the Reds on Sunday to continue his comeback at the club.

Given made just two league appearances under ex-manager Paul Lambert, although has been Villa's goalkeeper for the cups after losing his regular place to Brad Guzan in 2012.

He was loaned out to Middlesbrough last season and failed to play a game for Villa.

But Sherwood will put his faith in the Republic of Ireland international to help his side into the final.

He said: "Shay plays. Absolutely. He's done nothing wrong Shay, he's a large part of the reason we're in this semi-final.

"The saves he made against Leicester were fantastic and at the right time. He trains fantastically well and he's pushing Brad all the way for that No.1 spot."


Aston Villa striker Benteke: No favourites for Liverpool clash

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke believes Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool will be one of the biggest moments in his career, but thinks neither team is favourite.

The Belgian will lead the line at Wembley with the hope of pulling off a slight shock.

Christian Benteke has found some form. Credit: PA

"For the moment, yes," he said. "It (missing the World Cup) was hard but now it's in the past, I'm looking forward to playing the semi-final.

"Liverpool are a good team but the thing with the FA Cup is it's still something special. It's 50-50 for me but some will say they are favourites.

"Wembley is something good and special because it's a semi-final, it's close to the final and we have to do everything to be there again."

Benteke puts smile on Sherwood's face at Spurs

Christian Benteke jumps for joy at White Hart Lane. Credit: John Walton/PA Wire

Christian Benteke scored his eighth goal in six games to hand Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood a winning return to Tottenham.

Sherwood, who was relieved of his duties at White Hart Lane at the end of last season, has since taken the job at Villa with the task of keeping them in the Premier League and this victory will go some way to helping him achieve that goal, although the visitors did see Carlos Sanchez sent off late into stoppage time.

Coincidentally, Sherwood's last game in charge of Spurs was a 3-0 win over Villa, and he was on the winning side once more as Benteke headed home 10 minutes before half-time to seal a 1-0 victory.

Premier League team news: Tottenham v Aston Villa line-ups

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