Amsterdam: Chelsea’s young guns will test their run of form at one of the homes of youth development on Wednesday as they attempt to stop an Ajax team on course to replicate last season’s thrilling Champions League run.
The Blues are on a five-match winning streak in all-competitions but come up against the Group H leaders in Amsterdam.
Ajax are averaging over three goals a game at home and abroad and are hungry for European success after semi-final heartache last season.
Fikayo Tomori, Ross Barkley, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham all started Saturday’s win at Stamford Bridge, the first time since 2013 five English players made the London club’s starting XI.
They second on three points in Group H after a wobbly opening two games in the Champions League, with a pair of matches coming up against on-fire Ajax that could decide their European destiny.
“These two games against Ajax are really big because they’re such a strong team … The movement of the team and the way they play football will be a big test for us,” coach Frank Lampard said.
Abraham has stolen the headlines with eight goals in nine league appearances and the opener in Chelsea’s 2-1 win in Lille, and Lampard called the 22-year-old a “sponge” for his capacity to learn.
“He wants to listen, to get better, to score more goals, improve his game and help his teammates. He’s got the beautiful base of that in terms of coaching,” added Lampard.