4 November 2019

Chelsea v. Ajax Preview  (Sky Sports)

 N'Golo KanteTeam news, key stats and predictions ahead of Chelsea vs Ajax (kick-off 8pm) as the Champions League group stages continue.

Team news

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante is set to return from injury for Tuesday's Champions League clash with Ajax, head coach Frank Lampard has confirmed.

Kante has made just six appearances for Chelsea this season and has missed their last five games after his previous comeback was curtailed by a groin injury picked up on international duty with France.

"He's in the squad, so he's fit," Lampard said on Monday. "It looks nicely like the injuries and the few niggles that he was getting have cleared up and we've been able to get some work into him.

"It's always a little bit stop-start before that, so yeah, he's in the squad and available."

Midfielder Ross Barkley (ankle) and defender Andreas Christensen (thigh) are also back in training after spells on the sidelines last month.

Opta stats

Chelsea and Ajax's only previous European clash was on matchday three this season, with the Blues winning 1-0.

Ajax have never lost an away UEFA Champions League match in England (W1 D3 L0), winning most recently away at Spurs in April 2019. Their last away European Cup defeat on English soil was in April 1980, a 2-0 semi-final defeat against Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest side.

Chelsea have a 100 per cent-win record in UEFA Champions League matches against Dutch opponents, beating Feyenoord twice in the 1999/2000 season and Ajax on MD3 this season.

Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has managed more away UEFA Champions League games without losing than any other manager (seven games), winning five and drawing two. Only two managers have lost none of their first eight away games in the competition - Louis van Gaal (first 14 games) and Pep Guardiola (first 11 games).

Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi has scored one goal every 47 minutes for the Blues in the Champions League (3 goals in 141 minutes) - the best minutes per goal ratio of any Chelsea player in the competition.

Dusan Tadic has been directly involved in eight of Ajax's last 14 goals scored in the group stage of the Champions League (five goals, three assists), including six of their last seven away from home (three goals, three assists).

Charlie Nicholas' prediction

This is a tasty fixture!

We've seen a lot of what Ajax have done recently. They sold three or four key men in the summer and it makes them weaker, but it does not change their style or the manager's philosophy. Chelsea winning there was a sensational result, but there is not much between the two sides.

I still feel there are a few hiccups along the way. You cannot bully Ajax with the ball, but you can without it. Chelsea will want to get the technical edge over Ajax so we have a great game in prospect here. You can still see weaknesses in both teams, but it will be another fantastic result for Frank Lampard.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-1 (8/1 with Sky Bet)

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