UWCL: Bayern Munich and Chelsea prepare to meet in semi-final

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Copyright: Adam Davy

It’s almost time for the semi-finals of the Champions League. Frauen Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich will welcome Women’s Super League top team Chelsea to the FC Bayern Campus for the first leg.

The game will kick off at 17:00 CET and is selected for broadcasting in several countries and regions all over the world.

Team news

Emma Hayes’ side travel to München with one question – will Magdalena Eriksson be able to make it into the starting lineup after picking up an injury? The Chelsea skipper missed last Wednesday’s clash when the WSL title might have been decided at the Academy Stadium in Manchester.

Chelsea secured the point they needed to stay top, sharing the points with Manchester City as the clash resulted in a 2-2 draw. Providing the Blues don’t slip up in their final two fixtures, they will wrap up their second consecutive WSL title.

Whether Eriksson is fit to play or not when Chelsea step out on FC Bayern Campus on Sunday, will continue to be a question mark until Hayes reveal her starting XI.

Since Bayern secured their spot in the UWCL semi-final they have had a bumpy road. First, they lost the DFB Pokal Cup semi-final against Wolfsburg, in a game where goalkeeper Laura Benkarth also injured her knee. The following league game, the Reds dropped a 2-0 lead, losing 3-2 to third-placed Hoffenheim. The 19-year-old shot-stopper Maria Luisa Grohs stepped in during the absence of Benkarth.

Taking on Turbine Potsdam last Wednesday Bayern secured the win, but only with a 3-2 win. Up until these two last league games, Bayern had only conceded three goals in the Bundesliga.

Grohs will probably make her Champions League debut when the German side hosts Chelsea.

Predicted lineups

Bayern Munich

Grohs; Glas, Hegering, Laudehr, Ilestedt, Magull, Zadrazil, Beerensteyn, Dallmann, Bühl, Schüller

Chelsea

Berger; Charles, Bright, Ingle, Andersson, Leupolz, Ji, Cuthbert, Harder, Kerr, Kirby

Ones to watch

Lea Schüller, Bayern top scorer (12 goals in the league and three in the UWCL so far) will definitely cause problems for the Chelsea defence. Together with right-hand side full-back Hanna Glas, who often participate in the Reds attacking play, will do everything to shake the Blues’ backline.

Glas has also been strong scoring form, with two Bundesliga goals and one in the UWCL. However, the right-back’s real strength lies in her running and crossing abilities. Glas has produced five assists in the league so far this term.

It’s not hard to guess that WSL top scorer Sam Kerr will play a crucial part in this tie for Chelsea. Kerr’s abilities to split up the opposition’s defence with her wide runs and fluid movements will force Bayern’s backline to stay at the top of their game. Together with Fran Kirby and Pernille Harder, the Blues’ attack will want to cause as much trouble as possible for the Reds.

Previous meetings

Back in the 2017/18 season, Chelsea managed to knock out the German side in the Round of 32, with an aggregate score of 2-2. Two away goals secured the Blues’ progression in the tournament.

Since then, both sides have strengthened their squads and most of the players that will be walking out on the pitch tomorrow weren’t a part of that previous meeting. Since both teams fight to reach their club’s respective first final in the tournament, it will be safe to say that this will be a tight battle.

Their style of play has been quite similar this season. Both sides look to play out from the back in order to build up their attacking play with long balls distributed from their centre-backs. It’s a very direct style of play where both teams’ first choice after winning the ball is to either jump straight into attack, or to seek to deliver it back to the backline in order to start over again.

Chelsea’s performance in defending has been showing the Londoners’ flaws lately, especially in their meetings with Wolfsburg and Manchester City. Although, the Reds’ flaws might have caused bigger wounds since the München team has actually lost two games from weak defending.

The defensive play will be vital for both teams in this semi-final – both teams have attackers who will take the chance to latch onto any sort of mistake.

How to watch

Germany (Sport1), UK & Ireland (BT Sport), Sweden (Sportbladet), Norway (VG), Spain (TV3 Catalunya), Portugal (Eleven & Canal 11), New Zealand (Sky Sports), Mexico (PCTV), Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Guatemala, Ecuador, Cuba, Bolivia, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy (ESPN LATAM), Rest of the World (Wnited.TV).

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