UEFA Champions League Group H: Chelsea hosts Ajax, Lille away to Valencia

Frank Lampard's Chelsea can take a step closer to the knockout stages with a win over Ajax while Valencia faces must-win game against Lille in Group H.

Pulisic has scored four goals in his last three three matches for Chelsea.   -  GETTY IMAGES

After a stuttering start to its Champions League campaign, Chelsea has assumed control in Group H after a win away to Ajax in the previous matchweek. With the return fixture scheduled at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, Frank Lampard's men can take a step closer to the knockout stages with a win.

Table-topper Chelsea is level on points (6) with its opponent Ajax while Valencia has four points.

The London side's victory at Ajax proved to be a catalyst for another youngster Christian Pulisic, who recorded the assist for the win. Since then he has scored four goals in three matches including a hat-trick against Burnley.

Despite being knocked out of the EFL Cup last week, Chelsea has strung together five successive wins in the Premier League to move fourth on the points table. On Monday, it was announced that the Court of Arbitration of Sport agreed to have a hearing on Chelsea's appeal on its imposed two transfer window bans.

For Lampard, however, the transfer bans are not the least of his concerns at the moment. The Chelsea coach said refuted suggestions the Blues would have one foot in the knockout stages if they overcome Erik ten Hag's side at the Bridge.

"I don't like to say that," he added. "I felt at the start it would be tight. We have had two good results and another one would be great for us. But the danger of Ajax is massive.

"After losing the opening game, we have shown a great reaction. It is expected of Chelsea to go through. It is maybe why we had the reaction after Valencia. We need to have the same attitude as the last results."

Tough ask for Lille

Ligue 1 side Lille must win its remaining three matches to have any chance of qualification for the next round and it begins with a difficult trip to Valencia on Tuesday. Christophe Galtier's side rescued its first point of the campaign with a 95th minute equaliser in the reverse fixture against a 10-man Valencia last month.

For Valencia a loss to Lille will put the La Liga club at the risk of being relegated to the Europa League at the end of the group stages. Both sides have been inconsistent in form this season although Valencia comes into the fixture on the back of a win in the league. Lille suffered a 2-1 defeat at Marseille and has just a solitary win in five league matches.

Valencia will be without the services of Mouctar Diakhaby, who was sent off in the last game at Stade Pierre Mauroy. Timothy Weah and Renato Sanches will miss the tie for Lille due to injuries.

(With inputs from Opta)

  Dugout videos