Premier League preview: Aston Villa v Tottenham
By Football News
Aston Villa's Lambert Babes will need to show strong character after the humiliating 8-0 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday.
The young Villains were completely outplayed at Stamford Bridge by a rampant Chelsea side and they now face a daunting task at home to Tottenham on Boxing Day.
The eight-goal hammering, the club's heaviest in the top flight, has not only pushed Villa deeper into the relegation mire - they are 16th, three points ahead of Southampton.
But the mauling has given the Midlanders the worst goal difference in the Premier League at minus 17, one more than the bottom sides QPR and Reading.
Lambert refused to make excuses for the performance.
"You can't feel sorry for yourselves, you take your medicine in football and you have to go again," he said.
"We have got two days to mull over it and we have got to go again on Wednesday (against Tottenham)."
On the positive side, Villa Park has been a reasonably happy hunting ground for Paul Lambert's men with their eight home matches producing 10 points this season.
Tottenham, meanwhile, will be looking to strengthen their claims for a Champions League berth and add more Christmas woe to their opponents.
Andre Villas-Boas has steered his side to sixth place, level on points with Arsenal, Everton and West Brom and, with just one defeat in their past five outings, he will hope they can take full advantage of a bewildered Villa.
Tottenham are fresh from a goalless home draw against high-flying Stoke and will be looking to Wales international Gareth Bale to lift their attacking prowess after his return from a hamstring injury.
Despite the Stoke setback, Villas-Boas remains convinced his team are on course to achieve their objective of a top-four finish.
"I think we have enough to finish top four," he said.
"It doesn't shift because of one result. There's a lot of teams with 30 points so even if the teams get a couple of points the difference is minimal.
"The Premier League is like that. The team that sits third the other day now sits sixth or seventh in the league."