Villa v Liverpool preview: Lambert - We play with pace and grace
Paul Lambert says he's thrilled with the pace and grace of his team - and hopes the fans will be too this season.
Lambert has always aimed to nurture a side that can wow supporters who pay good money to see their heroes.
While he insists he's still "years away" from turning them into the finished article, the boss believes the progress is there for all to see.
Pundits were predicting zero points from the opening three fixtures.
But having turned over Arsenal, they were close to an upset at Chelsea.
Importantly, in both fixtures they played the kind of football that gets you out of your seat.
You know. The sort where, if they're behind they're not out of the game and if they're in front, they'll attack and attack in search of another goal.
In short, engaging, entertaining and exciting.
The away fans have certainly not been short-changed and now it's back to the home comforts of B6 and a clash with Liverpool.
Lambert may tweak the line-up to cater for fatigue - he may not - but he won't be changing anything concerning the approach.
The manager is delighted that his frenetic football philosophies have been absorbed by the players on the training field - and then brought to life in the cut-and-thrust of the Barclays Premier League.
He wants more of the same on Saturday - and he thinks the fans will love it.
He said: "We have come away from two difficult games with our confidence really high.
"We're vibrant - and so we should be because of the way we have played.
"The lads are playing incredibly well at the moment. We have got the bit between the teeth, which is great.
"They have been outstanding in the last couple of games. We went to a team who could win the Barclays Premier League and who will be playing in the Champions League. But we took the game to them and gave them a right fright.
"The way we are playing, there's energy and pace. My own view is we have a really good style of football.
"We play quick, energetic football. Hopefully everyone who comes to watch us enjoys it.
"We play football the way we think is right - high-intensity. We play a quick game. That's the way we train and we play the way we train.
"We have a great football club here with a great fanbase behind us. We have a team that is proud as heck to be here. That's vital.
"We are years away from where we want to get to. But we are getting there certainly.
"We need the crowd with us. I said from day one, this club needs its supporters behind it rather than pulling against it.
"They have never once while I have been here waivered from it all. Even in pure adversity they stuck with it.
"The noise levels over the last two games have been brilliant. I am sure Villa Park will be rocking this weekend too.The crowd are there with us.
"We go into the Liverpool game with a lot of confidence.
"All you can ask is going into a game with a positive mindset that we can win.
"Brendan Rogers has a really good Liverpool side. We had two good games with them last season. I'm sure this will be no different.
"The two teams play football. We will see what happens. It will be a great occasion.
"We are playing with a lot of confidence. We will play to win."
Lambert knows the encounter with the Reds - which pits him against good friend Rodgers - will be immensely tough.
But he thinks the pride garnered from the performance at Stamford Bridge will carry the team on to this latest challenge.
He added: "After the Chelsea game, you could hear a pin drop at times in the dressing room.
"I said 'you've got everything to be proud of - you know you've given it a go.'
"I was proud as anything. To go there and play the way they did. We gave them a fright and I think they knew it.
"You just sense now that they want to go again because of how they are playing. They have that feeling of 'I want to go again.'"
Villa v Liverpool
Tickets are still available.
Contact 0800 612 0970, pop into Villa Village or New Street or buy online.
AVTV DON'T MISS
Paul Lambert press conference - watch in full
Pre-match show - watch in full
Nathan Baker [ankle] looks set to miss out once more.
Baker missed the Chelsea match after coming off early at Arsenal.
Ciaran Clark [head] should be fit again, after exiting the action at Stamford Bridge with a nasty wound.
Chris Herd [ankle] is back in training and available again.
BETBRIGHT BETTING GUIDE
Villa to win - 14/5
Good luck and let's hope for a great result!
Villa will be wearing their traditional home kit of claret and blue.
There's more summer fun in store ahead of Villa's clash with Liverpool as Villa Park hosts another family funday.
Following on from the success of the funday before the pre-season friendly against Malaga, another one is set to take place before the first Barclays Premier League home game of the campaign.
The matchday festivities get underway at 3pm.
Enjoy the build-up to the game by checking out a host of free activities in the Villa Park Indoor Academy.
The fun activities include space hopper football, face painting, sumo suit football, bungee eliminator, air football, a shooting range and an Inflatable Skittle Range.
Mascots Hercules and Bella will be coming along too!
Disabled entrance access at the front - or on the road side - of the Indoor Academy.
Villa can boast a large range thanks to our new deal with Carlsberg.
We have Carlsberg through to San Miguel, along with the newly-introduced cider Somersby which is going down a storm across the UK.
We can also offer a 500ml plastic bottle on the concourses, something that we haven't been able to do for the last three seasons.
We are also delighted to announce that our official crisps are now Walkers.
We also have some great deals for the game with Liverpool.
The Pukka Pie and Carlsberg pint deal is located in the specific-branded Carlsberg units at each level of the Holte End, the North Stand, Trinity Lower and Upper aswell as Doug Ellis Lower. It comes at a price of £6.50.
The offer in the Family Area especially for our young fans and includes mini hot dog, chips and soft drink or chicken nuggets, chips and soft drink for a price of £4.
All around the stadium you can pick up two packets of Walkers for just £2.
The Snooty Pig offer is a hot roast pork bap with stuffing and apple sauce for £4.50 and it's available in Holte Lower and Trinity Lower.
Christian Benteke scored three goals against Liverpool in the Premier League last season - more than any other player.
Benteke has scored eight goals in his last eight top-flight appearances at Villa Park.
Only Manchester United  have won more Premier League games against Villa at Villa Park than Liverpool .
Daniel Sturridge has scored seven goals in his last six Premier League appearances.
Steven Gerrard has netted more Premier League goals against Villa than any other side.
Four of Gerrard's goals have come at Villa Park and seven at Anfield.
Villa's biggest win against Liverpool was a 6-1 success in 1931-32.
Liverpool's best win over us was a 6-1 win at Anfield in 1953-54.
Go to full match coverage for Aston Villa 0 - 1 Liverpool (23rd August 2013) >
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