Lambert knows the significance of the Barclays Premier League double-header which will follow on from the meeting with Roberto Mancini's side with Villa in the bottom three.
But he has taken enough encouragement from Villa's performances in recent weeks - including last weekend's 2-1 defeat at Arsenal - to believe they can at least compete against the champions.
He said: "I felt there were signs of encouragement against Arsenal but then I've felt that for a few weeks without getting the results.
"That's the frustrating thing, when you play well and don't get results especially the games at Everton, West Brom and Swansea.
"When you have a two-goal lead at Everton and West Brom and you don't see it through, or concede a late equaliser as was the case at Swansea, it's frustrating.
"If you had taken maximum points from those games, then you'd be sitting mid-table and, against Arsenal, we should have had at least a point."