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GREGORY: CHAMPIONS PERFECT FOR US

Aston Villa boss John Gregory believes that his side face the perfect warm-up for the FA Cup Final - the visit of Premiership champions Manchester United on Sunday for the final league game of the season.

Villa haven't beaten United in the Premiership for five years, and will have to stop an attack looking for four goals to hit the century of league goals - the first time that will have been done in the top division since second-placed Tottenham in 1963.

With FA Cup places up for grabs, Gregory knows his side will be pumped up for whichever opposition they would face. The fact that it is Manchester United helps Gregory with his pre-match team talk.

"There could be no better fillip for Aston Villa than to beat Manchester United going into the FA Cup final," insists Gregory.

"United could become a big scalp for us. Certainly I will not need to motivate the team on this occasion.

"Our fans expect a vintage performance on the day and they want to send us off to Wembley with a good win under our belts and put us in the right frame of mind to win the Cup for the first time in 43 years."

Ian Taylor, Steve Stone and Steve Watson all hope to make their personal late bids to win a Cup Final spot. The midfield places are the most open, so George Boateng, Lee Hendrie and Alan Thompson are also desperate to prove themselves ahead of next Saturday's Wembley showpiece.
 
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