UEFA women’s Champions League semifinal action begins on Saturday as Chelsea host Barcelona at Stamford Bridge in London. The game is a rematch of the 2021 UWCL final, where the Blaugrana defeated the Blues, 4-0, to claim the title. The two teams will square off in the semifinal first leg and then head to Barcelona for the second leg. Fans can watch the UWCL knockout rounds on CBS Sports Golazo Network.
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Chelsea FC: Manager Emma Hayes confirmed that her center back duo Millie Bright and Kadeisha Buchanan will be unavailable for leg one of the semifinal. Expect Maren Mjelde and Magda Eriksson to handle the defensive duties along with goalkeeper Ann Berger-Katrin. The keeper had a massive quarterfinal performance during the penalty shootout against Lyon, contributing two stops, and has three clean sheets in five matches during Chelsea’s Champions League campaign.
The Blues will welcome the return of Pernil Harder, but the forward has been out for an extended period of time, and the group will likely look to Sam Kerr to provide the goals.
FC Barcelona: The Catalonian side is considered favorites to win it all and will have the form and confidence to make it back to a Champions League final. The team won the title in 2021 at the final in Gothenburg and are looking like the side to beat once more this campaign. They’ve already written themselves into history in this era, coming off 60 wins in Spanish league games, and scoring 35 goals in their eight European matches so far this season.
They’ve managed to do a lot of that without two-time Ballon D’or winner Alexia Putellas, who was out with an ACL injury, but she could make her return to the pitch at Stamford Bridge after a long road to recovery.
Chelsea will spend lots of energy on pressing Barcelona into uncomfortable situations, but it won’t be enough for a win. Pick: Chelsea 1, Barcelona 2.