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James Chester: Big players will help Aston Villa up

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

James Chester reckons Villa’s big-game experience could give them the edge in the Championship play-off final.

Aston Villa's James Chester (left) and Leeds United's Pierre-Michel Lasogga

Villa face Fulham at Wembley on Saturday week, aiming to secure a return to the Premier League, two years on from relegation.

Chester is no stranger to the national stadium, having scored for Hull in their 2015 FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal.

And he said: “It’s a huge game and I have been lucky enough to have a few huge games in my career.

“There are a number of lads who have done the same.

“Hopefully that will give us a slight advantage.”

Of the Villa team which started Tuesday’s semi-final second leg against Middlesbrough, only James Bree has never played at Wembley before.

Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone, Conor Hourihane, Lewis Grabban and Mile Jedinak have all meanwhile previously won promotion through the play-offs.

Chester continued: “It will be a difficult game. In two seasons at this level we have beaten Fulham twice at home and they have beaten us twice away.

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“They are very possession-based team but we have shown if you can get about them, they can be beaten.

“Hopefully with our experience in big games and playing at Wembley it will put us in good stead.”

Villa beat Boro 1-0 on aggregate in the semi-final.

Chester said: “The main feeling is relief. Over the last two games we have proved we are a really good team and difficult to beat.

“Over 180 minutes to keep two clean sheets is great. If you do that you deserve to go through.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
Football MMPJ - @mjmarr_star

Sports journalist for the Express & Star

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