By 90Min
October 22, 2019

In recent years, if someone told you Ajax were hosting Chelsea in a face-off between last season's Champions League semi-finalists and Europa League winners, you would probably think the Blues were the former and the Amsterdam side were the latter.

However, as we all know that is not the case as Frank Lampard's men go about trying to rebuild their reputation at the continent's top table, hoping for a respectable Champions League campaign after their success in Europe's secondary club competition last term.

Ajax meanwhile look perfectly capable of repeating their semi-final heroics of 2018/19 following back-to-back 3-0 victories in their two group stage games so far.

Chelsea have recovered after their poor start against Valencia in Group H, defeating Lille away from home. However, they will be hoping to avoid falling victim to Ajax's rampant attacking style in the Dutch capital.

Here's how Lampard's men might line up if he wants to do so...


Goalkeeper & Defenders

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Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) - While Willy Caballero will be given opportunities in the Carabao Cup, there is absolutely no doubt that the world's most expensive goalkeeper remains Chelsea's no1 in the Premier League and Champions League. Expect to see the 25-year-old between the sticks in what should pose Chelsea's biggest challenge of the group stage. The Spaniard will be looking to pick up consecutive clean sheets for the first time this season, but it will be an almighty task against Ajax's devastating attack.

Cesar Azpilicueta (RB) - The Chelsea captain went down holding his foot late on in the win against Newcastle on Saturday, but Lampard has suggested the knock isn't too serious. Which is just as well - the manager will need his most experienced players on the pitch for what will be a stern defensive test on Wednesday night. Reece James was given the start against Lille, but Wednesday will not be a night for resting the big names.

Kurt Zouma (CB) - By no means the Blues' best option in this position, Zouma will almost certainly continue at the heart of Chelsea's defence as a consequence of their injury problems. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are both out with respective knocks. Chelsea fans will be hoping the shaky Frenchman can find some confidence under the lights at the Johan Cruyff ArenA.

Fikayo Tomori (CB) - Those injury concerns mean Fikayo Tomori will also continue at the back, although he warrants his place with his fine form since breaking into the starting XI. His pace, passing and composure mean his inclusion is no concern for his manager or the supporters.

Marcos Alonso (LB) - Although Emerson is nearing a return from his own injury, you would expect Marcos Alonso to continue on the left side of defence. The Spaniard has found some form after a run of games and struck the crucial winner in the 1-0 win over Newcastle which ultimately left Chelsea in their desired top four spot after the weekend's Premier League action.


Midfielders

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Jorginho (DM) - Under Lampard's tutelage, Jorginho has looked increasingly more like the player Chelsea were hoping for when he signed in the summer of 2018. The Italian has dominated games from a deep-lying role this season, quickly becoming the considered and experienced pivot of the Blues' youthful and exuberant side.

Mateo Kovacic (CM) - With N'Golo Kanté almost certainly out with a groin problem, Mateo Kovacic will likely have the responsibility of being the busy-body in midfield, tracking back and putting in tackles as well as launching attacks. It's a role the Croatian is perfectly suited to playing - Lampard will just hope he can add more goals and assists to his game.

Mason Mount (CM) - Mount will probably demonstrate his versatility once again by being drafted into the centre of midfield. Ross Barkley was substituted in the first half against Newcastle with an ankle problem, so he looks highly doubtful for this European trip. It will be up to Mount to provide the greatest attacking threat of the midfield trio.


Forwards

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Willian (RW) - The Brazilian has looked like something akin to his best at times this season with any obstacles to the starting lineup finally out of his way - namely Eden Hazard. He scored the winner at Lille and was lively against Newcastle at the weekend. Frank Lampard will hope he can put in another vivacious performance to haul the Blues over the line in a difficult atmosphere.

Tammy Abraham (ST) - The striker didn't manage to net on his return from international duty on Saturday, but he had the kinds of chances that suggest the goals won't dry up just yet - hitting the bar with a header and seeing what seemed a certain goal denied by a point-blank save from Martin Dubravka. He remains the joint top scorer in the Premier League and scored a first Champions League against Lille last time out.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (LW) - The 18-year-old has been in scintillating form since his return from injury, and you feel he can only improve further as his sharpness and confidence build. His obligatory inclusion means Mason Mount plays centrally with the squad ravaged by injury, but there is a nice attacking look to this side even with the notable absentees.

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