The UEFA Women’s Champions League is back! Chelsea Ladies hope it will be third time lucky as they make their third attempt in as many years at winning the tournament. The Blues have been drawn against formidable opposition at the round of 32 stage in Bayern Munich, with the first leg taking place at Chelsea’s brand new Kingsmeadow stadium.
Chelsea have an unfortunate record against German opponents in this competition, losing against Wolfsburg in 2015 in the round of 16 stage and then last year again succumbing to Wolfsburg at this stage. Chelsea also lost to Bayern in pre-season 3-0 only a couple of months ago and will hope to avoid that fate again in the first leg. It will be imperative for Emma Hayes’ team to muster the type of performance that will leave them in with a chance to win the tie when they go to Munich next week.
Chelsea do come into this game in fantastic form having won their first two league games 6-0 with nine different goal scorers already. Having a threat from multiple areas on the pitch could turn out to be a useful weapon in knockout competition with the Bayern team having to keep an eye on every single player knowing any one of them could conjure up a goal. Bayern do have many threats of their own; their most recent match was a 4-0 victory away at Hoffenheim and are currently third in the Bundesliga having won three of their first four games of the season only conceding one goal.
Both teams look very evenly matched; strong in attack and solid in defence and any outcome in the match will be decided by the tiniest of details. With the Blues being at home first, they will have to make sure the lack of concentration and silly errors that have littered their previous games in Europe are straightened out. Giving up an away goal could be very costly considering how formidable Bayern are defensively, especially at home.