Villa v Fulham stats: Skipper Vlaar tipped to be crucial figure
Nevertheless Aston Villa must recover from back-to-back defeats against a Fulham side that are desperately in need of points.
The guys over at WhoScored.com preview the fixture, analysing the numbers that support the home sides chances of getting back to winning ways this weekend.
If tradition is anything to go by the hosts will certainly fancy their chances. In their 12 Premier League visits to Villa Park Fulham have never come away with all three points.
The Londoners have the worst defensive record in the division, conceding 73 goals, so Villa will rightly be confident of extending that run.
Lambert's side have taken the lead in their last three games and are tipped to 'score from a fast break situation' in WhoScored.com's match forecast. If that's the case they may well profit later on in the game as well, as play becomes more stretched.
The home side will be confident of building on any advantage they may gain in the latter stages given that Fulham have conceded 42 goals after the 60th minute of league matches this season.
Meanwhile Villa have scored more goals in the final third of matches (15) than they have between 0-30 minutes and 30-60 minutes in the current campaign.
While Lambert will be confident that his side can register at the business end, he'll be keen to restore the improved defensive solidity this season after two disappointing results. Villa have kept eight clean sheets this time around compared to just 5 last season, while Fulham have kept the fewest, with just three.
The Cottagers will be without record signing Kostas Mitroglou and on-loan Villa man Darren Bent, so they are likely to field an inexperienced front man, with Moussa Dembele and Cauley Woodrow vying for a place. The hosts skipper Ron Vlaar will therefore look to exploit any inexperience that he comes up against.
The Dutchman was out injured when the two sides met earlier in the season - one of 6 league matches that the 29-year old has missed this season - with all eight of the aforementioned clean sheets the Villans have kept this season having come when Vlaar has started.
The Netherlands international has a huge impact when Villa are on song at the back, with his average rating from WhoScored.com over the eight games that Villa have not conceded this season standing at 7.48.
Facing a Fulham side that have failed to score in nine of their 16 league matches on the road thus far - with no side firing a blank away from home more often - Vlaar could be a key player once again on Saturday.
Find yet more statistics on Villa and the rest of the Premier League, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings at WhoScored.com. Follow @WhoScored and their editor-in-chief @martinlaurence7 on Twitter.
Go to full match coverage for Aston Villa 1 - 2 Fulham (4th April 2014) >
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