Chelsea will face a tough test when they face Ajax Amsterdam in the Champions League Group H qualifier on Wednesday.
The Blues, who have been hired by Frank Lampard since taking over at the start of the season, will have to face one of the finest young school-based schools that last season produced a semi-final.
After a shaky start, Lampard managed to reach a homogeneous combination that managed to win five consecutive victories in all competitions, most recently against Newcastle 1-0 on Saturday in the Premier League.
Vikayo Tomori, Ross Barkley, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoy and Tammy Abraham kicked off Saturday’s Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, the first time five English players have been in the starting line-up since 2013.
Four of them are the product of a team that thrived under Lampard, who knew how to deal with the loss of Belgian star Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, and banned new players from UEFA.
The English team are second on three points from two games, having suffered a 1-0 home defeat by Valencia in their opening match, and beat Lille 2-1 away.
While leaders Ajax won the same two matches with a 3-0 win, Abraham grabbed headlines after scoring eight goals in nine league games and his team’s first goal against Lille was their first European goal, prompting Lampard to describe the old player. 22 years as a “sponge” for his ability to learn.
“He wants to listen, get better, score more goals, improve his game and help his teammates.”
“These two games against Ajax are really big because they are a strong team. The way they play will be a big test for us,” Lampard told the club’s website on Monday.
Ajax glow for glory
There is a problem that could cause Chelsea a huge dilemma against attacking teams such as Ajax, where he managed to keep clean sheet in only two of the 13 games he has played in all tournaments this season, and will face a team with an average of three goals in the game whether at home or when in the The hospitality of one of his opponents.
Ajax have scored 31 goals in 10 league games and six in the Champions League in their first two games.
The Londoners are suffering from the absence of defenders Antonio Rudiger, Emerson of Italy and French midfielder Ngolo Kanti, as well as doubts about the possibility of the participation of Andreas Christensen, Ross Barclay, and Spain’s Cesar Azbelikweta.
With Ajax leveling up, rumors are chasing his manager Eric Tin Hag, that he may be a possible replacement for Bayern Munich’s Nico Kovac, the third-placed Bundesliga coach.