Women’s Champions League predictions: Barcelona will draw first blood vs. Real Madrid in first UWCL El Clasico

The 2021-22 UEFA women’s Champions League returns this week with the first legs of the quarterfinals. Eight clubs are left standing as the road to Turin for the final in Juventus Stadium continues. Bayern Munich face Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid host FC Barcelona in a special El Clasico matchup on Tuesday. Still alive in the competition and with a chance to play the final at home, Juventus will host Olympique Lyonnais while Arsenal meet Wolfsburg on Wednesday.

Four of the eight clubs have hoisted the UWCL trophy at least once, with Lyon leading the way with seven titles. Juventus and Real Madrid have never reached the semifinals and PSG are still searching for that ever-elusive UWCL title despite reaching the final in 2015 and 2017. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona will meet for the first time in the UWCL quarterfinals in will be a historic meeting between the two women’s sides since Real Madrid’s professionalization. 

With several iconic teams preparing for the UWCL quarterfinals, lets take a look at four bold predictions between the eight clubs ahead of the big matches. But first, here’s how you can watch each game:

Women’s Champions League schedule (first legs)

Tuesday, March 22

  • Bayern Munich vs. PSG, 1:45 p.m. ET (DAZN YouTube)
  • Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona, 4 p.m. ET (DAZN YouTube)

Wednesday, March 23

  • Juventus vs. Lyon, 1:45 p.m. ET (DAZN YouTube)
  • Arsenal vs. Wolfsburg, 4 p.m. ET (DAZN YouTube)

1. Bayern’s organization frustrates PSG

Bayern are the hosts in the first leg of this quarterfinal and the club is expecting over 10,000 in attendance at Allianz Arena. The added boost of a home-field advantage could come into play during this quarterfinal as the two sides are fairly matched even despite PSG being viewed as slight favorites. Expect Hanna Glas and Saki Kumagai to keep things organized while Linda Dahlman and Sara Dabritz try to connect with Lea Schuller. 

2. Barcelona spoil Real Madrid’s big moment

We’re fresh off an El Clasico on the men’s side over the weekend and we’re now being treated to a monumental moment in the history of this rivalry. Unlike the men’s which have met in four separate seasons, this will be the first UWCL edition of El Clasico between the women. Barcelona are reigning UWCL champions and recently won the Spanish title with six games left with a 5-0 defeat over Real Madrid on March 13. Las Blancas will host the first leg of the quarterfinal at Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano, but goalkeeper Misa Rodriguez will have her hands full against a Barcelona attack that features Alexis Putellas, Jenni Hermoso, Caroline Graham Hansen and Fridolina Rolfo.

3. Lyon’s roster boost will secure win

Lyon will be at the site of this season’s final as their squad depth might be too much for Juventus to handle despite having the home-field advantage for the first leg. The Italian side has proven to be frustrating team to play against given their prior results against Chelsea FC (0-0) and Wolfsburg (2-0), but a recent player surge for Lyon will spoil the party in Turin. Expect Sarah Bouhaddi, Lindsey Horan, Eugénie Le Sommer, Dzsenifer Marozsán to have significant roles in the upcoming match while Catarina Macario remains active in the attack for Lyon.

3. London is neon green, actually

Wolfsburg are on the road to face Arsenal, but are hardly unfamiliar with the territory. Their impressive UWCL run includes eliminating last season’s runners-up Chelsea FC, and the German side did it with a limited roster missing key players to injury. They return to London this time as the underdogs once more, but expect an even match between the two sides with former Gunners Jill Roord and Dominique Janssen pulling the strings on the pitch against their old squad.

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