Monday 11 December 2017

Tim Sherwood confirms that Shay Given will start FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool

Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given
Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given

Nick Mashiter

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."

Ashley Westwood and Scott Sinclair are available after hamstring problems but Ciaran Clark has been ruled out with a knee injury.

Gabby Agbonlahor remains a major doubt with a hamstring issue and Carlos Sanchez is suspended.

Sherwood added: "Ciaran Clark came off with a bad medial ligament injury (at Tottenham last week), so he's not going to be fit.

"We will give Gabby right up until the last possible moment to be fit.

"Scott Sinclair is back. It's not bad but it's pretty similar with regards to they haven't done a lot of training. We have to see how fit they are, physically, rather than mentally."

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