Chelsea manager Frank Lampard told the club’s website that his side’s “attitude, preparation and input must stay the same” if they are to beat Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Frank Lampard Gives His Thoughts Ahead of Ajax Champions League Clash
Next Big Step for Frank Lampard
A win for the Blues at Stamford Bridge would make a big step into qualifying for the knockout stages.
However, Lampard downplayed the importance of qualifying from the group and said that it is expected of a team like Chelsea, even in a very tough group.
Lampard’s men lost their first game against Valencia but have since bounced back. Their two away wins at Lille and Ajax a fortnight ago have put them in a strong position.
The Chelsea boss has warned his team to “expect something similar from a very good Ajax team”. The Dutch side themselves are coming into the game unbeaten in the league and having scored eight in their last two games.
Where the Game Will be Decided
Two weeks ago, it was Michy Batshuayi’s late strike that earned the Blues’s three points in Amsterdam, but that doesn’t tell the story of the game. It was a good performance from Ajax who hit the post and went close several times.
If Chelsea are to replicate the same result then the game will be won in the midfield, the same area that has been so impressive for the Blue’s in recent weeks.
Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic will have to nullify the exciting trio of Donny van de Beek, Hakim Ziyech and Dusan Tadic. If they get that right, it will go some way to securing a victory.
Lampard commented on the Blues’ midfield, saying that he is “fortunate enough to have players, the three players that played at Watford, Mason [Mount] for instance with defensive qualities, they all can do all roles as such”.
He also commented on their attacking freedom by saying “they are positive in play, play forward passes and to travel with the ball at pace and to do their work”
Chelsea are expected to line up similarly to how they did at the weekend against Watford, but one major positive for the hosts is that N’Golo Kante will be back at Lampard’s disposal since their 2-1 loss to Liverpool.
Frank Lampard was full of praise for Kante, he said: “N’Golo is one of the best players in the world in his position and has been for a few seasons”.
He also spoke about his midfield rotation by saying “I won’t complain about the nice problem that I have with him [Kante] fit, we’re playing every three-four days at the moment and I want competition, I’m going to need all of them and in different positions as well.”