Lambert relishing Aston Villa’s tough start to the season

The Villans face Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool in the opening seven days of the Premier League campaign, and the 43-year-old says his squad and himself are prepared
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is relishing his side’s tough start to the new Premier League season.

Villa face two of last season's top four in Arsenal and Chelsea - with the trip to Stamford Bridge rearranged due to the Blues' involvement in the Uefa Super Cup - before hosting Liverpool in their opening three fixtures.

However, despite the tricky set of matches, Lambert is ready to attack from the off and believes his players are looking forward to the start.

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He told the Express and Star: "It doesn’t come much harder does it? You’ve got to play them, so playing them straight off you just get on with it.

"We’ll certainly give it a real good go, you won’t get two tougher away games than that but we are looking forward to it."

Lambert also praised the club’s star striker Christian Benteke, who netted a hat-trick in a 5-1 pre-season win over Crewe, after recently penning a new deal to remain at the club.

"It wasn’t a case of him having to prove anything to anybody, he’s been excellent since the day he walked through our door," he added.

"He hasn’t had that much practice training wise, but some of his touches and some of his play was just excellent.

"It doesn’t matter, whoever you’re playing, a goal’s a goal so they’re always important to strikers."