Belfast Telegraph

Villa 'can end Chelsea's run'

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has backed his side to shock Chelsea and end their unbeaten run.

The Scot takes Villa to Stamford Bridge on Saturday with his side aiming to hit back following their first defeat of the season.

They were beaten 3-0 by Arsenal last week, which denied them the chance to leapfrog Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

Villa last won at Stamford Bridge in 2011 - and have since been beaten 8-0 and 2-1 - but Lambert believes they can surprise again.

He told reporters: "Any given day you can beat anyone. It's over the course of the season that people may say 38 games is a big ask. We will go down there and give it a go.

"We we will have our tactics but I will hope our players can carry it out.

"I watched Chelsea last week. I saw two really good sides in Manchester City and Chelsea and the two teams who won't be far away in both the Champions League and league.

"That is the magnitude of the game we're in. But if someone said we took points from Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea I'd have broken their hand off.

"The times I've played against them they've always been strong and even now you look at their players and they are a really powerful side.

"They have a lot of attributes that most sides would love - pace, power, ability. They have everything."

The Scot is also relishing facing Jose Mourinho again and enjoys the "banter" with the Blues boss.

"I get on really well with Brendan (Rodgers) stretching back from Norwich and Swansea days. We've always got on well. Arsene Wenger is a nice guy and you can have a bit of banter with Jose - just football stuff though," he said.

"You try and win, I try not to get caught up in. Football is not a bed of roses, it's volatile anyway."

Villa were ravaged by illness against the Gunners as Ashley Westwood, Nathan Baker and Darren Bent were all ruled out while Andreas Weimann was replaced at half time.

They are all available again and, despite the defeat, Lambert is delighted with Villa's start.

"We started the game really well against Arsenal but our preparation had been thrown into chaos," he said.

"If you say we can take 10 points from eight games I would certainly have taken it that's for sure."

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