Chelsea Women face a daunting task in overturning a 1-0 deficit at Camp Nou against rampaging Barcelona Women to move into the finals of the 2022/23 Women’s Champions League
BAR-W vs CHL-W Match Details
Date: Thursday, 23 April 2023
Time: 17:45 (BST) / 22:15 (IST)
Venue: Spotify Camp Nou, Barcelona
BAR-W vs CHL-W Match Preview
Barcelona delivered a professional performance at Stamford Bridge in the first leg, scoring through Graham Hansen’s exquisite curler as soon as the fourth minute and then seeing off the home side’s response for a 1-0 victory. Something the Liga F leaders thought of to carry a lead into the second leg at Camp Nou so it had to be counted as a success. They did the same with Roma in the quarterfinal stage taking a slender lead to demolish the opposition 5-1 back home. Jonatan Giraldez’s side will be wishing for the same to reach the Women’s Champions League final for a third consecutive year. Barcelona extended their winning run to five games in the competition but a draw over here will be enough to take them through having not been eliminated in the last four stage since 2021. They have also not lost a Champions League home game in five years and won the last four this season conceding only once and scoring 23 at the same time, enough to fend off any opposition.
Chelsea knows the kind of task they are going to face in Spain with the 4-0 thumping by the Catalan outfit in 2020-21 final will creep into the memory every time the home side displays their threat on the ball. Coach Emma Hayes indicated that the tie is not over but nobody will regret the Blues should have taken something from the first leg to build on in Camp Nou. They could have if Guro Reiten’s equalizer was not chalked off for offside and had Lucy Bronze not blocked the Norwegian’s second attempt in the match on the line. The Blues will now be forced to prevent Barcelona from scoring in their den which has not happened in any game or competition this season. The English side will also not be happy with the fact that their opposition has conceded only one goal at home in the competition so far giving little motivation ahead of the clash. Chelsea have also lost the last three away legs in the semifinals leaving them only for a miracle to move into a second European final.
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BAR-W vs CHL-W Team News
The big news for Barcelona is the inclusion of captain Alexia Putellas back into the match-day squad after almost nine months of absence due to an ACL tear. Her last appearance in the Champions League was the final last season against Lyon where she scored the only goal for her side in a 3-1 defeat. However, the Catalonian giants are without right-back Lucy Bronze who has undergone a minor knee surgery after she was withdrawn in the first leg at Stamford Bridge. Marta Torrejon will be the replacement for the England international. Mariona Caldentey made her return from injury in the last game and will be pushing for a start in this one.
Chelsea continues to miss first-choice center-back Millie Bright and Kadiesha Buchanan with Maren Mjelde slotting in the back four and performing a magnificent job till now. Fran Kirby and Katerina Svitkova remain out while Pernille Harder returned from her lengthy injury layoff as a late substitute in the first leg. The Dane has to wait for her chance to reinsert herself into the starting 11. Lauren James could get the nod ahead of Jelena Cankovic after coming on in the second half of the game at the weekend. Sam Kerr is waiting to add to her five goals tally from nine games in the competition.
BAR-W vs CHL-W Predicted Lineups
BAR-W: Sandra Panos; Marta Torrejon, Irene Paredes, Mapi Leon, Fridolina Rolfo; Aitana Bonmati, Keira Walsh, Patricia Guijarro; Graham Hansen, Salma Paralluelo, Geyse Ferreira
CHL-W: Ann-Katrin Berger; Eve Perisset, Maren Mjelde, Magdalena Eriksson, Jessica Carter; Erin Cuthbert, Leupolz, Guro Reiten; Lauren James, Sam Kerr, Niamh Charles
BAR-W vs CHL-W Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: Panos (8)
DEF: Carter (8), Leon (8.5), Mjelde (8), Rolfo (9)
MID: Bonmati (9), Guijarro (8.5), Reiten (9)
FW: Hansen (8.5), Kerr (9), Geyse (8.5)
Vice-captain: Guro Reiten
Captain: Graham Hansen