Champions League

Chelsea's missing link set for CL return

N'Golo Kante_Michy Batshuayi and Kurt Zouma (PA Images)
N'Golo Kante_Michy Batshuayi and Kurt Zouma (PA Images)

Cape Town - Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante has returned to contention in time to face Ajax Amsterdam in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The 28-year-old's season has been dogged by niggling injuries in this campaign, reducing him to just five appearances for the Blues, but boss Frank Lampard has him back available for the Champions League showdown at Stamford Bridge.

A groin injury had been the latest issue, but after making a return to training, Lampard has suggested he could figure against the Dutch side.

"We've been able to get some work into him, he's in the squad and he's available," said Lampard.

Chelsea have coped well without him as they sit in the top four of the Premier League and top of Group H in the Champions League, but his availability is still a big bonus.

Midfielder Ross Barkley and defender Andreas Christensen have both been struggling with ankle and thigh injuries respectively and the game could come too soon, despite also returning to training.

Lampard is likely to name his strongest possible side as Chelsea could stamp their authority on the group and move three points ahead of Ajax if they can pick up the win.

After the Ajax clash, Chelsea must travel to Valencia, before finishing the group stage at home to Lille and there is still plenty of work to be done.

"I said at the start that this group would be tight because all the teams could take points off each other. That has been proved to be correct," said Lampard.

"After losing the opening game against Valencia, which was disappointing, we have shown a great reaction from that."

Meanwhile, Ajax could welcome back Edson Alvarez to the starting eleven, which could result in star midfielder Donny van de Beek being pushed further forward.

If that is the case, Quincy Promes, who scored a brace in the 4-2 win over PEC Zwolle at the weekend, could have to settle for a place on the bench.

- TeamTalk Media