Chelsea are in NextGen action tonight and can assure themselves of a place in the next round with victory against Ajax. There are just two games left in Group Three of the competition and both feature Chelsea against one of the pre-tournament favourites Ajax. CSKA Moscow have already secured their place in the next round but if Chelsea were to be unsuccessful in both their fixtures with the Dutch outfit it would leave them in danger of failing to be one of the best ranked third placed teams.
One advantage that Chelsea may have in the fixture could revolve around Ajax already being through to the next round. On nine points to Chelsea’s seven they have assured themselves of a place in the next stage of the competition.
Their main attacking threat and last season’s NextGen top scorer Viktor Fischer could also not feature. He has gone on to cement a place in the first-team picture in recent weeks so may not be used in what for them is essentially a dead rubber.
All of this may weaken the strength of a highly rated Ajax side and after Chelsea decimated Molde FK 6-0 in their last fixture they will have extremely high hopes of picking up victory and assuring themselves of a place in the next round.
If they were to lose however they would get another pop at Ajax in Holland on the 13th January.
‘’It's a big night for me because they're a Dutch team and I know almost all their players. A lot of them play for the Dutch national team, so I definitely want to win.’’
In other NextGen action Group 6 concludes when Olympiakos entertain Athletic Bilbao in Greece. Arsenal have already qualified from the Group but both sides in action tonight need a win in order to ensure themselves of qualification.
Here are some Tweets from Chelsea players ahead of the fixture at the Recreation Ground, Aldershot tonight.
Finished training for today, playing Ajax tomorrow in the @nextgenseries !— Nathan Aké (@NathanAke) December 11, 2012
Islam feruz (@IFeruz10) December 9, 2012
image: © Jason Bagley