Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says he is expecting a ‘really tough match’ when his side travel to face Ajax in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Lampard’s side travel to face last season’s semi-finalists in Amsterdam, with the Dutch champions having enjoyed a successful start to their European campaign one again by securing back-to-back group stages wins.
Ajax surprised many with their run to the last four of last season’s competition, and despite seeing the likes of Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong depart their exciting young side for some of Europe’s biggest clubs, Lampard is expecting a tough encounter and believes Erik ten Hag’s side now possess ‘new threats’.
“We are expecting a really tough match against a team who we know how they performed last year,” Lampard said at his pre-match press conference.
“Now they have started this group winning both games comfortably, so it is going to be a tough match. I don’t think our five wins in a row mean anything other than I hope we have some confidence but this will be a completely different challenge which we need to be ready for.
“I respect the Ajax team. I watched them last year and I know the team has changed slightly but I am very aware of the new threats and anywhere you travel in the Champions League is a difficult match.
“We are not scared of Ajax but we hugely respect them as a team. We also have confidence in ourselves.”