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Chelsea v Villa preview: Lambert - We're ready physically and mentally

Petrov taking time away from U21 assistant coach role Chelsea v Villa training pictures: It's all-smiles at Bodymoor
Chelsea v Villa preview: Lambert - We're ready physically and mentally


Paul Lambert says his players are ready - physically and mentally - for the tough trip to Chelsea.

Boss Lambert thinks the adrenalin from the Arsenal win will lift the team when they face the punishing encounter with the Blues.

Villa's trip to Stamford Bridge, of course, comes just four days after their energetic and enterprising performance at The Emirates.

But Lambert thinks the rush of victory will carry them through.

He also believes they are mentally strong heading into the match with Jose Mourinho's title-chasers.

Lambert says his players have "grown into" the pressures of the Barclays Premier League.

And he thinks the nadir of the previous campaign - the 8-0 capital hammering - has had a positive effect on the lads as they get set for their latest encounter at the venue.

Asked whether they could be fatigued on Wednesday, Lambert said: "No. It can work for you. They will be ready for it again.

"You're only one game into the season and sometimes you hear people talk about being tired. I don't buy into that.

"Mentally it will be hard because we have to go again with the intensity that you have to play with.

"We have three games where the intensity is going to be really, really high. If we can cope with that, we have that threat in the team.

"You have to cope with the intensity. You have to prepare right for it. You have to let all the euphoria from Saturday go. You can't live in the past. You have to go again.

"The stadium will bring that on anyway with the amount of people at the game and the team we are coming up against, of course.

"I think they are physically ready for it and mentally we are too.

"We have improved from last year. We have grown into it, grown into the league.

"They have earned the right after a tough Christmas and New Year period.

"That spell in a roundabout way made them better. They might not have thought that at the time.

"But I am pretty sure they will look back during their careers and think 'I'm glad I went through that.'"

The entire club was wounded when the final whistle blew, of course, none more so than the supporters who witnessed the defeat.

Lambert took time out on the eve of the Chelsea game to praise their commitment to the cause in those trying times, saying they were a "major catalyst" to the exhilarating end to the season - and equally important now as Villa set off on a new campaign.

He continued: "Our crowd have been absolutely brilliant - even after that game!

"They never once turned on the lads. That speaks volumes for the supporters. They have been brilliant.

"They were phenomenal in London on Saturday. It will be the same on Wednesday against Chelsea.

"The fans were hurt but everyone at the football club was hurt. But they were a major catalyst to helping us last year."

Those same fans are certainly now in positive mood heading into this Chelsea encounter after the breathtaking win at Arsenal on the opening day.

And Lambert is upbeat too, insisting that his team will head to Stamford Bridge with the express intention of winning despite the quality of the opposition.

He added: "We will give it a go, like we did on Saturday. They are ready for it. Their confidence is really high after what happened at Arsenal. We will go down and give it a right go.

"We're looking forward to it. The lads are looking forward to another game. You also know you have to be right on your mettle again.

"You go down there with no pressure. Everybody thinks Chelsea will win but you have to wait and see.

"We know Chelsea are a top side. But there's a lot of confidence in the team. We will go to try and win.

"I think as a football manager you try and win every game you can. It might never happen! But it's the way I am brought up. You try and get that over to the team. We go and try to win, home and away.

"I never put my team out to try and wait for a draw or to hang on. I send them out to win. That's what I will try to do but I am under no illusions about how hard it's going to be.

"But we will go down there with a bit of form over the past few weeks. Let's see what happens."


Chelsea v Villa
Barclays Premier League
Saturday August 21 - KO 7.45pm
Referee: Kevin Friend


On sale to supporters with any booking history*
*One ticket per client reference. Remember to supply one client reference per seat to build up booking history
Buy info: hotline 0800 612 0970, in person at Villa Village or New Street


Gaffer's press conference - watch now
Stamford Bridge goals - watch now


Yacouba Sylla [ankle] is back but Nathan Baker [ankle] looks set to miss out.

Sylla was absent for the Arsenal game after injuring himself on U21 duty against West Ham.

But he's now back in the squad for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Juan Mata, Andre Schurrle, Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku are all vying for a start but David Luiz remains sidelined.


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


Villa are unbeaten in their last three Premier League away matches since a 3-0 defeat at Manchester United in April.

Villa were the only Premier League side to earn more points away [21] than at home [20] last season.

Christian Benteke has scored an unrivalled 16 Premier League goals in 2013.

Jose Mourinho has never lost a Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, winning 47 and drawing 14 of his 61 games in charge at the ground.

But Jose Mourinho has not won any of his last four Premier League matches against Villa [D3, L1].

Frank Lampard has missed two of his last three penalties after scoring the previous 10 in a row.


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

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

Access our matchday console.

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 Ken McNaught 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.

This costs £4.99 per month or £44.99 for year - sign up today here.


AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 20th August 2013
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