Aston Villa will be hoping to see some improvement and avoid a relegation battle next season after finishing their previous two Premier League campaigns in 15th place.
Their 2014/15 campaign does not get off to a bad start with an away trip to Stoke City on the opening day, followed by two home games against Newcastle and Hull City.
However that is where the 'not bad' start comes to an abrupt halt. The next five games Villa will be very lucky to get a single point out of. Away at Liverpool, home to Arsenal, away at Chelsea, home to Man City and away at Everton.
The only positive to take out of that is some of their most difficult games will be out of the way before the end of October, and surely Lambert would not expect to pick up any points against those sides (other than maybe Everton), so anything would be a bonus.
The Christmas and New Year run-in has potential to be very good for Villa; Palace, Leicester, Albion, Swansea and Sunderland are all teams (with Man United being the exception) that Aston Villa should be in and around. So vital points could be picked up around that stage.
A full list can be seen below, dates and times subject to change for television purposes
|Home Team||Away Team||Time|
|Sat 16 Aug 2014||Stoke||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Sat 23 Aug 2014||Aston Villa||v||Newcastle||15:00|
|Sat 30 Aug 2014||Aston Villa||v||Hull City||15:00|
|Sat 13 Sep 2014||Liverpool||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Sat 20 Sep 2014||Aston Villa||v||Arsenal||15:00|
|Sat 27 Sep 2014||Chelsea||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Sat 04 Oct 2014||Aston Villa||v||Man City||15:00|
|Sat 18 Oct 2014||Everton||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Sat 25 Oct 2014||Queens Park Rangers||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Sat 01 Nov 2014||Aston Villa||v||Tottenham||15:00|
|Sat 08 Nov 2014||West Ham||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Sat 22 Nov 2014||Aston Villa||v||Southampton||15:00|
|Sat 29 Nov 2014||Burnley||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Tue 02 Dec 2014||C. Palace||v||Aston Villa||20:00|
|Sat 06 Dec 2014||Aston Villa||v||Leicester City||15:00|
|Sat 13 Dec 2014||West Brom||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Sat 20 Dec 2014||Aston Villa||v||Man Utd||15:00|
|Fri 26 Dec 2014||Swansea||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Sun 28 Dec 2014||Aston Villa||v||Sunderland||15:00|
|Thu 01 Jan 2015||Aston Villa||v||C. Palace||15:00|
|Sat 10 Jan 2015||Leicester City||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Sat 17 Jan 2015||Aston Villa||v||Liverpool||15:00|
|Sat 31 Jan 2015||Arsenal||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Sat 07 Feb 2015||Aston Villa||v||Chelsea||15:00|
|Tue 10 Feb 2015||Hull City||v||Aston Villa||19:45|
|Sat 21 Feb 2015||Aston Villa||v||Stoke||15:00|
|Sat 28 Feb 2015||Newcastle||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Tue 03 Mar 2015||Aston Villa||v||West Brom||19:45|
|Sat 14 Mar 2015||Sunderland||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Sat 21 Mar 2015||Aston Villa||v||Swansea||15:00|
|Sat 04 Apr 2015||Man Utd||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Sat 11 Apr 2015||Tottenham||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Sat 18 Apr 2015||Aston Villa||v||Queens Park Rangers||15:00|
|Sat 25 Apr 2015||Man City||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Sat 02 May 2015||Aston Villa||v||Everton||15:00|
|Sat 09 May 2015||Aston Villa||v||West Ham||15:00|
|Sat 16 May 2015||Southampton||v||Aston Villa||15:00|
|Sun 24 May 2015||Aston Villa||v||Burnley||15:00|
Vila's final fixtures of the season could be a lot worse. Their torrid start has probably made their last 11 games easier than what they could have been.
They only face one of last season's top four in their final 11 fixtures and that is reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.
Successive away trips to Man United and Spurs will not be easy fixtures, but other than that Paul Lambert's men have a run-in that gives them a real chance of surviving relegation and improving on the finishes of the last two seasons.