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Everton v Villa preview: Lambert - We're on a big high
Paul Brown on Toffees encounter.
31st Jan 2014
Everton v Villa preview: Lambert - We're on a big high


Brown

There are only three days between the Baggies and Toffees games but Paul Lambert said his team will head to Everton on a real high.

Lambert believes the derby adrenalin will see the players through at Goodison Park as they look to continue their fine form.

Villa are in a good place at present, lying tenth in the Barclays Premier League table on 27 points.

They are eight points away from the bottom three but five points off Southampton in ninth.

Lambert insists he's only looking one way - up - and why not given the superb performances that the claret and blues have produced in the Barclays Premier League since the turn of the year.

He said: "We will be ready for Everton.

"Everton have had an extra day's rest. Yes, we have to get going again but we won't need to be picked up because we're on that high.

"We're on a good little run so it's up to us to keep it going.

"Goodison Park is a great stadium. It is a great place to play.

"It was a great game last year where it finished 3-3, and also here this year.

"There was the penalty from Christian, he had another chance and then Andi had a one-on-one. Obviously missing the penalty was a blow and the other great chances as well. I don't think we'll miss them this time, given the opportunity.

"We should have been three-up in the first half. We had a great spell but Everton then hit us with two goals. But we gave a good account of ourselves.

"They have been in really good form. They lost at Liverpool but they are still a very good side.

"You have to be wary of their response. I said after our game, any derby you play is so unpredictable. I don't think anybody would have thought that Liverpool would win 4-0 against Everton but a derby game can be like that. It can throw up anything really.

"Overall, their season has been extremely good and they're vying for that Champions League place. They've got some really good players and it's going to be a hard game.

"It will be a great atmosphere. It's a proper football ground, like Anfield up there on Merseyside too.

"It's a good place to play. We go there with a lot of confidence.

"Everton have brought in good players - allied to the ones already there.

"Roberto inherited a good team and then enhanced it with the likes of Gareth Barry and James McCarthy.

"They have good players - top, seasoned pros.

"You know the game you will get against them. But we are confident.

"As everyone knows, away from home we are certainly a threat.

"We're playing really well at this minute. Since the turn of the year it's only Arsenal that have beaten us in the league and we were unlucky in the second half of that one too.

"So the form in 2014 has been really, really good.

"I think it took us until March to get this amount of points last time. How we did it last time - 27 points in March and still doing it [staying up] - it was incredible.

"We're not in February yet and we've got that already so it's a lot healthier.

"This season, there are so many teams down there in a lot worse position than ourselves.

"I think all you can do is focus on your own level.

"I've always looked up and not down. I'm not really a negative person, I've always thought why be negative when you can be positive so I've always looked up.

"I've never really looked over the shoulder.

"Some people are mentally strong enough to do it and some people will probably go the other way but my own view is you might as well go for the higher level.

"It's everybody's perception about how to look at it but my own view is try and get the next team above you and that's what we'll try to do.

"We are closing that gap. Some people said it was probably a bridge too far. There's still a long way to go in the league, a lot of tough games still to come but it's a lot healthier than it was."


MATCH INFO

Everton v Villa
Barclays Premier League
Saturday February 1 - KO 3pm
Referee: Robert Madley

AVTV DON'T MISS

Gaffer's press conference - watch now

Pre-match show - watch now

TEAM NEWS

Paul Lambert is waiting on the fitness of Gabby Agbonlahor ahead of the Toffees encounter.

As of Thursday, Agbonlahor hadn't trained since hurting his foot in a freak incident at Anfield, where he fell over the advertising hoardings.

Lambert will assess the striker on the eve of the game.

COLOURS

Villa will be wearing their home kit of claret and blue.

MATCH STATS

Everton have lost just one of their last 20 Barclays Premier League matches at Goodison Park - won 14, drawn five, lost one.

Villa have suffered just seven defeats in their last 25 Barclays Premier League away games - won nine, drawn nine and lost seven.

Villa have lost none of the last seven Barclays Premier League visits to Everton - won two, drawn five - but the last four in a row have been draws.

Grant Holt has scored in three of his four Barclays Premier League appearances against Everton.

Everton are looking for their 300th Premier League win, something Villa achieved against West Brom.

Christian Benteke has scored in three consecutive Barclays Premier League appearances, after going 11 top-flight games without one.

Everton

LIVE COVERAGE

Villa's match console is the ultimate place to be to follow the game with Everton.

Tune in and be part of the claret and blue conversation.

You can join us from 12noon.

Before the game starts, the match console will also contain pre-match analysis, interactive polls and a free video package previewing the game.

During the match itself, you can follow the action and interact with Paul Brown and Dan Harrison in the match console.

Paul and Dan will bring you blow by blow action as the game unfolds as well as the thoughts of fans logging-in from all over the planet.

After the game, the match console contains a game report, manager's verdict, stat pack and a picture gallery.

You can boost the coverage of the game in the subscription-only area of the match console.

Here, you can enjoy live audio commentary, with Jack Woodward joined by Tony Morley on the microphone throughout the 90 minutes.

Also, in our subscription area, you get a video interview with Paul Lambert and the star players from the game and extended highlights too.

You can enjoy AVTV for £4.99 per month or £44.99 for the year - sign up today here.

Match Centre

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