Ajax are our next Champions League opponents in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, as we look for our sixth win out of six and a greater chance of qualification to the knockout stages of the competition. Ajax have won both of their games in Group H, beating Lille 3-0 in Amsterdam and Valencia 0-3 in Spain; the Dutch club are currently unbeaten in the Eredivisie and are top.
A 19 man squad has travelled to Amsterdam, however, N’Golo Kanté continues to miss out due to a groin injury. During Frank Lampard’s pre-match press conference, Frank said that N’Golo had started training, but it was unclear if he would be back for the weekend. Also missing from the squad is Ross Barkley who picked up an ankle injury against Newcastle on Saturday. Back in the squad is Emerson Palmieri, who was injured prior to the international break. The likelihood is though that Marcos Alonso will keep his place after his goal and performance against Newcastle.
Ajax have won the European Cup four times; the last time was in 1995 when AC Milan were defeated 1-0 in Vienna. More recently, in fact last season, Ajax reached the Semi-Final of the Champions League, however, a late Lucas Moura goal gave eventual losers of the competition, Tottenham Hotspur, the path to the final against Liverpool. (Tottenham will always be losers)
Some games are quite predictable, however, this game is difficult to assess. Both teams could line up in a 4-3-3 formation; pace and counter-attacking football could be on the menu, with both teams pressing high. This could be a night for Callum Hudson-Odoi on the European stage, if he plays. However you look at this game, it promises excitement with Ajax players like Van de Beek and Promes in their line-up and Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount in our stating eleven. I’m sticking my neck out for a Chelsea 1-2 victory.