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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Lambert doesn't want upset

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert will not risk Capital One Cup embarrassment against Tranmere Rovers by fielding a weakened team.

• Benteke bid rejected

Defeats against Everton and West Ham United have made it a difficult start for Lambert following his decision to leave Norwich City in the summer and he is determined to ensure Tranmere do not add to his problems.

"I think with a club this size you cannot take anything lightly," he said. "Because I'm pretty sure if I send out a so-called weakened team and we get turned over by a lower-league team or whatever you won't accept it and I'm the same.

"I don't want to get knocked out of things. If you're in something you might as well go and try and win it. Otherwise there's no point in entering the competition."

Lambert is hoping that progress in the cup could aid the mood around Villa Park, as the Scot looks to turn the club's fortunes around.

"A cup is vital, it does generate a good feeling about the club and it gives you an opportunity to get to Wembley. I'm pretty sure if you get to Wembley, you don't want to lose it. It's true what they say. People don't remember the team that's lost." Villa were runners up to Manchester United in the competition under Martin O'Neill and Lambert, who played under the Northern Irishman at Celtic, would love to improve on the achievements of his former boss. "I'm pretty sure if you ask any Villa fan about the time they had under the gaffer. I call him that because I still get frightened of him! They will say it was unbelievable, getting in near the top six and a cup final," Lambert said. Tranmere are joint top of League One, having won two and drawn one of their opening three games so far as well as winning 2-1 at Chesterfield in the previous round of the competition.

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