Soccer

Chelsea’s expected 3-4-3 line-up vs Ajax – Reece James could start

Chelsea face a tricky trip to Amsterdam tonight to take on Ajax in Champions League Group H – but who will Frank Lampard decide to start the game?

The Blues go into the game off the back of five successive wins in all competitions and the team are starting to fire in all areas.

A 1-0 win over Newcastle at the weekend moved Chelsea into the Premier League top four and they are looking more solid in defence now, as well as in attack.

Lampard’s men secured a vital win at Lille in their last Champions League game to pick up their first points in the group after an opening loss at home to Valencia.

Ajax reached the Champions League semi-final last season and despite losing the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt in the summer they look strong again.

The Dutch champions have won both of their matches so far in the group and are unbeaten domestically.

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Lampard goes into the game with several injury worries so will need to decide what formation will best suit the players he has available.

Andreas Christensen is the latest Chelsea player to join the treatment table and he will miss the game, as will Antonio Rudiger.

Should Lampard decide to play in a 3-4-3 formation, Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori and captain Cesar Azpilicueta will likely play centrally.

Reece James impressed on his Champions League debut in Lille and may be handed the role at right wing-back with Marcos Alonso, fresh from his winning goal against Newcastle, on the left.

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Emerson took part in training but is a major doubt for the game.

Ross Barkley is yet another Chelsea player to be sidelined having suffered an injury against Newcastle and will be assessed for the weekend.

N’Golo Kante is closing in on a return to the team but he might only be fit enough tomato the bench.

The leaves Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic in the central roles in midfield to protect the attacking three.

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Tammy Abraham will again lead the line for the Blues with Mason Mount on the left side.

Lampard has to decide between several other wingers to occupy the other side with Willian, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic all in the frame.

Pulisic impressed from the bench against Newcastle while Hudson-Odoi provided the assist for the goal.

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Willian could come in ahead of both youngsters, however, to start the game in Amsterdam.

Chelsea expected 3-4-3 line-up vs Ajax: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori; James, Kovacic, Jorginho, Alonso, Willian, Abraham, Mount

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