Aston Villa have seen their form suffer in recent weeks just as many had expected them to following a brilliant start to the new Premier League season.
Tests don't come much more difficult than facing the defending champions, but Villa can afford to be optimistic after relieving pressure with the early-season successes.
Lambert is unlikely to make too many changes to his team, although there could be a spot in the squad for Christian Benteke, who made his return from injury earlier this week.
Benteke made his comeback by scoring for the Under-21s, and his presence, even if it is just a place on the bench, will provide a big boost for the hosts.
There are no further injury concerns for Pellegrini's side, but the Chilean could be persuaded to hand a recall to Eliaquim Mangala after Martin Demichelis was preferred to the Frenchman in defence against Roma.
Aston Villa: WDWWLL
Man City: WWLDDW
Possible starting lineups
Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Cissokho, Baker, Senderos, Westwood, Delph, Richardson, Cleverley, Weimann, Agbonlahor
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Mangala, Kolarov, Navas, Fernandinho, Toure, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko
Sports Mole says: 1-3