Barcelona will defend their UEFA Women’s Champions League crown. (Picture: Getty Images)
The UEFA Women’s Champions League first ever group stage draw has taken place and it has thrown up some interesting ties.
Barcelona - winners for the first time in 2021 - face a difficult task to defend their title and will come up twice against Jonas Eidevall’s Arsenal. The Gooners will also play Hoffenhaim and HB Køge from Denmark.
Only two British clubs are represented, both from the Women’s Super League. WSL Champions Chelsea, who lost convincingly to Barca in Gothenburg, are in a group with German Cup winners Wolfsburg, as well as Juventus and Servette. Swiss outfit Servette have already defeated Glentoran and Glasgow City in qualifying.
Fortunately for both sides, they have avoided seven-time winners Olympique Lyonnais, who have instead been placed in Group E.
All 16-teams will be vying for a place in May’s final which will be held at the Juventus Stadium in Turin.
When was the Women’s Champions League draw?
For the 2021/22 UEFA Women’s Champions League competition, the group stage draw took place at 12 pm (BST) on Monday 13 September, four days after the final round of qualifying.
The draw was held in Nyon, Switzerland, the main headquarters of UEFA.
How does the Champions League group stage draw work?
A total of 16 teams were assigned to four groups. Each side will play one another home and away with the top two progressing to the quarter finals.
Unlike in the men’s game, there is no second-tier competition for third-place to drop into, instead there is just more prize money and coefficient points at stake.
What are the Women’s Champions League 2021/22 groups?
- Group A: Chelsea (ENG), Wolfsburg (GER), Juventus (ITA), Servette (SUI)
- Group B: Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), Breidablik (ISL), Real Madrid (ESP), WFC Kharkiv (UKR)
- Group C: Barcelona (ESP, holders), Arsenal (ENG), Hoffenheim (GER), HB Køge (DEN)
- Group D: Bayern München (GER), Lyon (FRA), Häcken (SWE), Benfica (POR)
No teams from the same association can play each other at this stage of the competition.
When are the Women’s Champions League group stage games?
The first group stage match day will take place between 5 - 6 October with a further match day that month on the 13th and 14th. Two further game days take place between 9-10 November and then on 17-18 November. To finish off, there
All dates have been planned to avoid clashes with the men’s competition, allowing for the women to take the centre stage. The penultimate round of UWCL fixtures will clash however with the final round of games. To combat this, for the only time in the group stages, games will be played on 8-9 December with the 9th being a Thursday.
Qualifying will then be rounded off on 15-16 December before the quarter-final draw taking place on December 20.
The kick-off time for these matches will be between 17:45 or 20:00 for viewers in the United Kingdom.
Arsenal's Group C fixtures
- Barcelona (A) - Tuesday, October 5 (8:00 pm)
- Hoffenhaim (H) - Wednesday, October 13 (8:00 pm)
- HB Køge (A) - Tuesday, November 9 (5:45 pm)
- HB Køge (H) - Wednesday, November 17 (8:00 pm)
- Barcelona (H) - Wednesday, December 8 (8:00 pm)
- Hoffenhaim (A) - Wednesday, December 15 (8:00 pm)
Chelsea's Group A fixtures
- Wolfsburg (H) - Wednesday, October 6 (8:00 pm)
- Juventus (A) - Wednesday, October 13 (8:00 pm)
- Servette (A) - Tuesday, November 9 (5:45 pm)
- Servette (H) - Thursday, November 18 (8:00 pm)
- Juventus (H) - Wednesday, December 8 (8:00 pm)
- Wolfsburg (A) - Thursday, December 16 (8:00 pm)
How can I watch the Women’s Champions League?
For the next four years at least, emerging streaming platform DAZN and YouTube will air the fixtures. The first two seasons will be able to watch live and on demand all 61 games on DAZN and for free on their YouTube channel.
In the two seasons after, the number of free games will be reduced to 19, but it still offers those the chance to watch Women’s football’s ultimate club competition.