Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is back in the squad for Tuesday’s Champions League Group H game with Ajax.
Kante, 28, has made just five starts in an injury-hit season, most recently suffering a groin problem.
“We’ve been able to get some work into him, he’s in the squad and he’s available,” said manager Frank Lampard.
Midfielder Ross Barkley (ankle) and defender Andreas Christensen (thigh) are also in training after injury lay-offs last month.
Victory at Stamford Bridge would see Chelsea go three points clear of Ajax in Group H and put them in a strong position to progress to the quarter-finals, with games against Valencia and Lille remaining.
“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.
“I have to accept it’s expected of Chelsea to go through and that is no disrespect to any other teams. I have said already how hard the group is but it is more about our own expectations.
“That is maybe why we had that reaction. We wanted to prove ourselves, we wanted to go to Ajax and Lille and get results, and we did.
“But we won’t get carried away with ourselves in this group.”
Can Chelsea maintain 100% record against Dutch sides? – the stats
- Ajax have never lost an away Champions League match in England (W1 D3 L0), winning most recently away at Spurs in April 2019. Their last away European Cup defeat on English soil was in April 1980, a 2-0 semi-final defeat against Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest side.
- Chelsea have a 100%-win record in Champions League matches against Dutch opponents, beating Feyenoord twice in the 1999-2000 season and Ajax this season.
- Ajax have won their last five away Champions League matches – prior to this run, the Dutch side had won just four of their previous 38 away games in the competition (W4 D13 L21).
- Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has managed more away UEFA Champions League games without losing than any other manager (seven games), winning five and drawing two. Only two managers have lost none of their first eight away games in the competition – Louis van Gaal (first 14 games) and Pep Guardiola (first 11 games).
- Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi has scored one goal every 47 minutes for the Blues in the Champions League (3 goals in 141 minutes) – the best minutes per goal ratio of any Chelsea player in the competition.
- Dusan Tadic has been directly involved in eight of Ajax’s last 14 goals scored in the group stage of the Champions League (five goals, three assists), including six of their last seven away from home (three goals, three assists).
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Edgbaston (day one):|
|Warwickshire 275-8: Norwell 58*, Hain 47; Dunn 3-59|
|Surrey: Yet to bat|
|Warwickshire (2 pts), Surrey (2 pts)|
Warwickshire fast bowlers Liam Norwell and Henry Brookes transformed the first day at Edgbaston as they shared an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 89 to stun reigning county champions Surrey.
After slumping to 186-8 despite gritty knocks from Sam Hain (47), Will Rhodes (39) and Adam Hose (38), the Bears were set to go without batting points again.
Instead, Norwell slammed 58 and Brookes made 35 as Surrey’s attack wilted.
The pair both belted some fine shots to reach the close unparted on 275-8.
That earned two batting points, plus the prospect of a potential third in the morning, which would double the Bears’ previous haul for the season.
Prior to that, on a weather-affected day which brought two separate short breaks in play, injury-hit Surrey’s bowlers had dominated, including three victims for recalled fast bowler Matt Dunn.
After being put in to bat, a painstaking first half-century stand of the season for Bears openers Dom Sibley and Rhodes was ended by veteran spinner Gareth Batty, who removed both in successive overs just before lunch.
But after Dunn had seemingly put Surrey right in control, Norwell, on his home debut, and Brookes transformed the contest in the final hour.
They started to go for their shots when Dean Elgar came on for an over of spin just before the new ball was due – and 17 came from it, capped by two sixes in three balls from Brookes.
But they then kept up the attack, twice taking 16 off an over from South Africa paceman Morne Morkel, thanks to seven boundaries off in the space of 11 deliveries off him from the free-spirited Norwell.
Warwickshire all-rounder Liam Norwell told BBC WM:
“Henry and I are both naturally quite attacking players so we just played out natural game and played our shots and luckily it came off.
“It was a mixture of good shots and a bit of luck. I rode my luck at times but it was just good to be out in the middle with Henry. He is a lot of fun to bat with.
“The lads up top did the hard graft. Now we are in a pretty strong position and we have just got to focus in the morning and try to get up to 300 for that third batting point.”
Surrey fast bowler Matt Dunn told BBC Radio London:
“All day, the bowlers worked so hard together. We knew it was going to be tough but everyone bowled in partnerships and bowled for each other.
“It was a shame that it just got away from us a little bit at the end because we were in a great position but I think we would have taken this at the start of the day.
“It is great to be back in the team. I am so proud to wear the Surrey badge. It is everything to me. It is nice to get out there again and perform.”