Barcelona vs. Wolfsburg: Women’s Champions League semifinal to feature clash of styles and another big crowd

FC Barcelona and Wolfsburg will face off in the first leg of the UEFA women’s Champions League semifinal on Friday (12:45 p.m. ET) in what is expected to be another sold out crowd at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain. Last month, Barcelona set a record for women’s soccer attendance with a remarkable crowd of 91,553 fans during their quarterfinal against league rivals Real Madrid.

The club is set to host another widely attended event when Wolfsburg take the pitch during the semifinal first leg on Friday.

Barcelona are current UWCL title holders, and the club will meet Wolfsburg in UWCL competition for the fourth time. Wolfsburg, however, have history on their side — the German club has defeated Barcelona in their three previous Champions League meetings. Their most recent UWCL victory over Barcelona was during the 2020 campaign where Wolfsburg defeated Barcelona 1-0 during a one-off final four tie in San Sebastian, Spain. 

Despite the history between the two teams, Barcelona are current title holders and are looking to complete their quadruple.  Wolfsburg are considered underdogs and are missing key player Lena Oberdorf in the midfield for the semifinal. Wolfsburg is embracing the challenge, and defender Dominique Janssen knows that this Barca squad is different compared to prior meetings.

“I think everybody had some tears when we lost some points, or you know, lost against Juventus. But then coming back, and beating Chelsea four-nil, it has been an amazing journey for us,” Janssen said. “It’s the journey that you have to enjoy, and then the end result is going to be playing in Camp Nou for now, of course on the way towards Turin. We want to go to the to the to the final of course, but it’s going to be a really tough opponent [in] Barcelona, It’s just nice that we, as Wolfsburg, developed so well this year. And I think this is going to be one of the biggest tests for us so far.

“Everyone thinks that the game will be even, we only know how we want to play, we will see after the game if it has been or not. We have respect, but also a lot of confidence in the way we play.”

The match is likely to be a clash of two styles: Barcelona’s ability to retain possession as they establish their passing game, against a Wolfsburg side that is organized and tries to breakthrough the opposition’s defensive backline at the end of long balls.

“We are kind of the team that’s very surprising this year, I also think that maybe we are surprising ourselves,” Janssen said. “But we have such a good team spirit. We are in for a big challenge, and we’re really excited. No one can underestimate Wolfsburg.”

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