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Team news: Chelsea vs Ajax

Marcos Alonso for Emerson Palmieri is the only change to the side that started at Watford on Saturday.

N’Golo Kante and Andreas Christensen are back on the bench. Cesar Azpilicueta makes his 50th European start for the Blues.

Ajax make a couple of switches to the team that started in Amsterdam a fortnight ago. Noussair Mazraoui and David Neres come in. 

Chelsea Kepa; Azpilicueta (c), Zouma, Tomori, Alonso; Kovacic, Jorginho, Mount; Willian, Abraham, Pulisic.

Substitutes Caballero, Christensen, James, Kante, Gilmour, Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi.

Ajax Onana; Mazraoui, Veltman, Blind, Tagliafico; Van de Beek, Martinez; Ziyech, Neres, Promes; Tadic (c).

Substitutes: Varela, Schuurs, Dest, Alvarez, De Jong, Marin, Huntelaar.

The referee is Gianluca Rocchi from Italy.

Stats recap

Chelsea are the only side to beat Ajax this season in their 20 matches in all competitions.

Chelsea meet Ajax for the first time at Stamford Bridge.

Our matchday three encounter was our first meeting in European competition although we have played each other six times in non-competitive pre-season matches.
 

Chelsea's recent form

The Blues are seeking to win three successive Champions League games for the first time since November/December 2015 and are hoping to avoid two consecutive home defeats in Europe for the first time.

We are without a win in our past four Champions League matches at the Bridge (three draws, one defeat. We have never gone five home games without a victory in the competition.

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

Frank Lampard has handed five Englishmen aged 21 or younger their Champions League debuts for Chelsea this season (Mount, Abraham, Tomori, James, Hudson-Odoi) – the most by a team in a single season in the competition’s history.

Chelsea have lost just one of our last 18 games in Europe (14 wins, three draws) in a run that includes winning the Europa League last season; our only defeat was on matchday one of this Champions League campaign at home to Valencia.

Lampard could become the first English manager to win three of his first four matches in the Champions League, with Bobby Robson and Harry Redknapp winning two of their first four.
 

Ajax statistics

Last season
Eredivisie - first
KNVB Cup - winners
Champions League - semi-finals
Top scorer all competitions: Dusan Tadic 38 (in 56 appearances)

Champions of the Netherlands for the 34th time in 2018/19 – their first league title since 2014 – Ajax also lifted the Dutch Cup to claim their eighth domestic double, and a first since 2002.

Ajax lost two of their 18 European matches in 2018/19 (10 wins, six draws), when they became the first side in European Cup history to reach the semi-finals having come through three qualifying rounds and the first Dutch club to get to the Champions League last four since PSV Eindhoven in 2004/05.

Ajax are seeking a sixth successive away win in the Champions League (excluding qualifiers). Their current five game winning run were at AEK Athens (2-0), Real Madrid (4-1), Juventus (2-1), Tottenham (1-0) and Valencia (3-0).

Ajax have never lost an away Champions League match in England (one win, three draws), winning most recently away at Tottenham 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.
 

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