Wednesday 7 December 2016

Sherwood keeps faith with Given

Published 18/04/2015 | 02:30

Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given will start the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool. Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given will start the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool. Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood confirmed yesterday that Shay Given will start tomorrow's FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool. The Ireland goalkeeper has played in all the previous FA Cup games this season, but there was bad news for his Irish colleague Ciaran Clark as he misses out through injury.

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Clark sustained medial ligament damage against Spurs last weekend and is in danger of missing the remainder of the season.

A lengthy setback would rule him out of the final if Villa progress and also place his participation in Ireland's summer internationals with England and Scotland in serious doubt.

Meanwhile, Liverpool duo Martin Skrtel and Steven Gerrard both return from suspension, however, only the Slovakian is likely to regain his place in the starting line-up as Gerrard has played just 27 minutes since February 10.

Sherwood has challenged his Villa players to wreck Gerrard's hopes of a fairy-tale farewell. The Liverpool veteran will celebrate his 35th birthday on May 30, the day of the final.

"It's not about spoiling the party for Steven Gerrard, it's about what we can do and, to be honest, we're hoping that he's on his holiday in May," he said.

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