October 22, 2019 / 6:25 PM / 2 months ago

Ziyech to return for Ajax against Chelsea

Soccer Football - Champions League - Chelsea Press Conference - Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands - October 22, 2019 Chelsea manager Frank Lampard during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Piroschka Van de Wouw

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Midfield maverick Hakim Ziyech is likely to return for Ajax Amsterdam when they host against Chelsea in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Ziyech pulled out of international action for Morocco last week and missed Ajax’s win over last-placed RKC Waalwijk in the Dutch league but coach Erik ten Hag said he was likely to feature in the Group H match.

It will be a major boost for Ajax as Ziyech played a leading role in their 3-0 win over Lille in their opening group game last month. He then scored in the 3-0 victory against Valencia.

Ajax lead Group H with six points, three ahead of Chelsea. Despite their place in the standings, Ten Hag said there was no way they could be considered as favourites for Wednesday’s game.

“Ajax is no favourite when we play against a Premier League club,” he told reporters.

“But we are going for the win, that is always our intention. We want to play our own game to our own strengths.”

Ten Hag also had little time to reflect on Ajax’s unexpected run to the semi-finals last season before they were beaten by Tottenham Hotspur.

“Last season was last season,” he told reporters.

“We are now building and developing a new team and we need to improve with each passing game. With the process you stumble sometimes, but you have to get back up quickly.”

Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Pritha Sarkar

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