Ajax will be hoping to improve their record against English clubs when Chelsea travel to the Johan Cruyff ArenA on Wednesday evening having bowed out of the 2018/19 Champions League after heartbreakingly losing 3-2 at home to Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals. 


Ajax currently sit top of the Eredivise on 26 points and have managed to transfer that form into European competition, topping Group H in the Champions League with maximum points (6). 


Frank Lampard's Chelsea currently sit second in the table following a shock 1-0 home defeat to third placed Valencia, before beating Lille side 2-1 at the Stade Pierre Mauroy on matchday two. 


Erik ten Hag's Ajax have recorded back-to-back three nil victories at home against Lille and away to Valencia. The dutchman will be keen to preserve his teams dominant start to their Champions League campaign with another win against a youthful and exuberant Chelsea side.

Dutch Eredivisie"RKC Waalwijk v Ajax Amsterdam"

With eight goals scored between the two sides in the opening two games of this seasons Champions League group stages, this should make for an open-ended and entertaining affair.


Check out 90min's preview of Wednesday evening's fixture below.


Where to Watch


When Is Kick Off?Wednesday 23 October​
What Time Is Kick Off?​17:55 (BST)
Where Is It Played?​Johan Cruyff ArenA
TV Channel/Live Stream?​BT Sport 3 HD
Referee?​Ovidiu Haţegan (Romania)

Team News


Ajax welcomed back Hakim Ziyech on Saturday as they overcame RKC Waalwijk 2-1 at the Mandemakers Stadion. The 26-year-old Moroccan international sustained a thigh injury in September and should be fit enough to play a role against ​Chelsea on Wednesday. Aside from that, ten Hag has a fully fit squad to choose from. 

Hakim Ziyech

On the other hand, Lampard has a number of absentees ahead of this crucial Champions League tie. The 41-year-old confirmed that Ross Barkley is a doubt after the midfielder rolled his ankle against ​Newcastle on Saturday, while the severity of the injury is not yet known. 


​N'Golo Kanté remains a doubt after picking up a groin injury with France on international duty, while Andreas Christensen (hamstring), Emerson (thigh), ​Antonio Rudiger (groin), ​Ruben Loftus-Cheek (achilles) and Marco van Ginkel (knee) are all sidelined. 


Predicted Lineups


​Ajax:​Onana; Dest, Veltman, Blind, Tagliafico; Martinez, Álvarez; Ziyech, Van de Beek, Promes; Tadic
​Chelsea:​Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Alonso; Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount; Willian, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi

Head to Head Record


Wednesday's fixture will be only the second meeting between the Ajax and Chelsea. The only previous meeting came in a friendly in July 2010, where Ajax emerged victorious by a scoreline of three goals to one. 

Ajax-Amsterdam's Siem de Jong (C) is wat

In that game, the Ajax scorers were Siem de Jong, Suk Hyun-jun and an own goal courtesy of Jeffrey Bruma, while Daniel Sturridge scored for the Blues. 


Recent Form


This season, the Dutch side have cruised past Valencia and Lille in the Champions League, with both games ending in 3-0 victories, Quincy Promes the man in form after finding the net in both games. In the Eredivisie, Ajax were triumphant in their last fixture, eventually beating RKC Waalwijk 2-1, with goals coming from Dusan Tadic and the aforementioned Promes.


Ajax lost only two of their 18 European matches in 2018/19 (W10 D6), they became the first team in European Cup history to reach the semi-finals after winning three qualifying rounds and are also the first Dutch club to get to reach the last four of the Champions League since PSV Eindhoven in the 2004/05 season.

Dutch Eredivisie"RKC Waalwijk v Ajax Amsterdam"

Chelsea also find themselves in superb form, with the west London club winning their last five games, scoring 16 goals and conceding only three. The Blues last victory came in a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge against ​Newcastle on Saturday afternoon. 


Chelsea's unbeaten run in European away matches stands at eight (W6 D2); the Pensioners have also won 11 of their last 20 European away fixtures (D5 L4).


Tammy Abraham is Chelsea's star man this season as the 22-year-old find himself joint top goalscorer in the Premier League (with ​Sergio Agüero) having found the back of the net eight times.


Here is how both teams have fared in their previous five fixtures.


Ajax​Chelsea
​RKC Waalwijk 1-2 Ajax (19/10)​Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle (19/10)
Den Haag 0-2 Ajax (6/10)​​Southampton 1-4 Chelsea (6/10)
​Valencia 0-3 Ajax (2/10)​Lille 1-2 Chelsea (2/10)
​Ajax 2-0 Groningen (28/9)​Chelsea 2-0 Brighton (28/9)
​Ajax 5-0 Fortuna Sittard (25/9)​Chelsea 7-1 Grimsby (25/9)


Prediction


Ajax are a team in form, whether it be in Europe or in domestic competition as they remain unbeaten in all competitions so far this season (W13 D4). Having said that, their recent record at home against English opposition is notably poor - a 3-1 win against ​Manchester City in the 2012/13 Champions League group stage is Ajax's sole win in their last six matches at home to English opposition (D1 L4).

Niklas Moisander,Samir Nasri

Moreover, Chelsea have historically fared well against Dutch opponents, their previous two fixtures ending in 3-1 home and away wins against Feyenoord in the 1999/00 Champions League group stage. Chelsea have also scored three or more goals in five of their last ten European matches, meaning this could end up being a high scoring game.


However, due to Ajax's superior form this season and the manner in which they are taking teams apart, a victory for the Dutch side seems the most likely outcome, although it is not a given. A lively, open-ended game should be on the cards, with both teams looking likely to score.


Prediction: Ajax 3-1 Chelsea