Chelsea v Ajax: Blues can cruise against Dutch champions


THE Champions League returns on Tuesday night and European football fanatic Jonny O'Sullivan (@libero_the) picks out his favourite fancies as Chelsea host Ajax.

Chelsea v Ajax | Tuesday 5th November 2019, 20:00 | BT Sport

Ajax are a good team, there is no doubting this. They lost two massive players last summer in Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong and it is a tall order to expect their new signings to be able to fill the void those cult figures left.

Lisandro Martinez has been great so far at centre back and may just develop into one of the best ball-playing centre backs in world football but it would be foolish to contemplate that he is as good as de Ligt is right now.

The likes of Donny Van de Beek, David Neres and Hakim Ziyech, to name a few, are all superb footballers but are they really world-class at this moment in time? I am not so sure.

A fortnight ago, the footballing world all were borderline expecting Ajax to turn over Chelsea. This seemed crazy as it was simply based on the hype that Ajax's league form and last season's Champions League campaign had generated.

Ajax overturned a complacent Juventus, along with a Real Madrid side who needed a complete squad overhaul as it is clear they are a side who lack motivation right now. They also got beat by a Spurs side who were nothing more than a good team, without their talisman Harry Kane.

A massive reason why Ajax completely dominated Juventus and Real Madrid was the ability of de Jong to completely overrun defences which do not possess a great deal of mobility with his dribbling and footballing brain.

Sure, they play excellent football and there is no doubting Erik ten Hag’s ability as a manager, but they simply cannot compete with the rich boys of the Premier League. A young and inexperienced Chelsea proved this with a perfect Champions League performance, winning 0-1, and I expect a repeat result at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

Frank Lampard has performed admirably and has had the perhaps forced opportunity to thrust many young and exciting players into the spotlight, where they are all thriving and growing in confidence each week.

This is all with the absence of N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus Cheek, whilst Reece James and Calum Hudson-Odoi have not settled into first-team action right now due to injuries.

Chelsea are a much better team than Ajax right now. Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho have been dictating matches with ease and the pace and physicality of the likes of Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori at the back allow for the team to press with purpose.

A penalty against the run of play against Watford allowed for their match to become a battle last weekend, but before this decision, the game was about as comfortable and routine as you like.

Chelsea are an incredible 19/20 at Betway and this is an extremely tempting price. Ajax have shown in recent years that they struggle against the physical nature of Premier League sides and this should be a trend which will continue in London this week. If Chelsea can achieve three points in Amsterdam, then they can definitely do it again in their own back garden.

Mason Mount has proven this season he can score at the highest level. His movement is second to none and his ability to strike the ball can bring flashbacks of his manager in his prime.

Ben Foster denied us the chance to see one of the cleanest strikes of the weekend ripple into the back of the net and if it were not for the Watford keeper’s heroics, he would have slotted his 5th of the season.

At a tasty 11/4 on Betfair, Mount is good value to score his first Champions League goal in front of his own fans.

Best Bets

Chelsea v Ajax – Chelsea to win (19/20 Betway)

Chelsea v Ajax – Mason Mount to score at anytime (11/4 Betfair)

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