Group H of the Champions League is highly intriguing, as the competition heads into gameweek four. A pivotal game taking place in the group is Chelsea hosting Ajax at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.
Chelsea (Odds of 10/11 for victory)
Frank Lampard’s side is currently top of the group, level on points with the second-place visits. The Blues are above the Dutch team due to winning the reverse fixture 1-0 at the Johan Cruyff Arena. The victory was their second straight European win after they defeated Lille 2-1.
The wins were much-needed, as they had failed to win in their previous four Champions League matches. The victories also put the home side in pole position to qualify from one of the most open groups in the competition.
Chelsea are usually strong at Stamford Bridge. However, the Blues have failed to win in four home games in Europe’s elite competition. Prior to a 1-0 home defeat by Valencia on matchday one, the Londoners had drawn their previous three home games in the Champions League.
A key to Chelsea’s run of eight wins in their last nine matches in all competitions has been the goalscoring form of striker Tammy Abraham. The youngster scored his ninth Premier League goal of the season last time out in a 2-1 win over Watford. However, he has scored just once in Europe’s elite competition.
Ajax (Odds of 14/5 for victory)
Last season’s semi-finalists lost some key players in the summer. However, it has not stopped the Dutch champions experiencing a superb start to their campaign domestically.
Erik ten Hag’s team are already six points clear at the top of the Eredivisie. The 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture is the only game in their last eight that Ajax have failed to win. The Dutch side has already saw-off both Lille and Valencia 3-0 in this season’s group stage too. They are unlikely to be easy opponents for Frank Lampard’s developing team. They lost just twice in 18 games in this competition last season, proving their resilience.
Unsurprisingly, considering they reached the semi-finals last season Ajax’s recent record in the Champions League is strong. The defeat against Chelsea ended a six-game unbeaten run for the Blues in Europe’s elite competition. It was also Ajax’s only loss in 19 games this season in all competitions.
Ajax are a tough team to beat when they are on their travels, as they are such a good team at hitting teams on the counter-attack. In fact, the Dutch giants are now 13 games unbeaten on their travels in the Champions League.
This clash is between two teams in great form. Chelsea are looking more and more impressive under Lampard by the week. Ajax look like they could run away with their domestic title this season once again.
This is a tough one to call. However, we are edging towards a home victory, although the draw at odds of 13/5 cannot be completely ruled out either. Both teams have been in good attacking form of late, so we are also backing the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 4/7.
Verdict: Back the home win at odds of 10/11 and/or the over 2.5 goals at odds of 4/7 (All odds are taken from Bet365).
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Who will come out on top between Chelsea and Ajax?