English representation rests on the shoulders of Arsenal, who have one European title in their history – winning it when it was known as the UEFA Women’s Cup, which they won in 2007. Since then, they have not made it past the semi-final stage.
We take a look at the eight teams left in the competition – and assess their chances of lifting the trophy.
It’s difficult to look past Lyon for the trophy. Part of the men’s club since 2004, they have dominated domestic and European competition for a decade, with the financial heft of Jean-Michel Aulas behind them. Former Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg is back in the squad after seven months out with a knee injury – and they also boast stars including England’s Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood and Nikita Parris.
Two-time winners of the trophy, Wolfsburg have also won the Frauen Bundesliga for the last six seasons. Denmark’s Pernille Harder is probably Wolfsburg’s biggest star, averaging almost a goal a game in her century of appearances. Look out also for striker Pauline Bremer, formerly of Manchester City, who arrived on a free transfer.
Barcelona have been enjoying a great season, storming through their domestic league and having some success in the cup competitions as well. They’re looking to go one better than last year, when they reached the final but lost to Lyon. Keep an eye on leading scorer Jennifer Hermoso, who has masses of experience around European leagues, and attacking winger Caroline Graham Hansen, who starred for Norway in last season’s Women’s World Cup.4
Arsenal go into the Women’s Champions League on the resumption knowing they are depending on their performances here to secure their place in next season’s competition, having been beaten to the domestic qualification spots by Chelsea and Manchester City. The Gunners are usually good in knock-out cup competitions, reaching the WSL Continental Cup final this season – and they are still in the 2019/20 FA Cup, which has yet to conclude.
5. Bayern Munich
It’s four years since Bayern last won their domestic league, and they remain in the shadow of Wolfsburg. Their biggest star is Germany’s Simone Laudehr, who doesn’t always start matches but whose knowledge proves invaluable.
6. Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid have had a stressful lead-up to the tournament, with five players testing positive for Covid-19 last week meaning that training sessions had to be cancelled. Dani Gonzalez has brought in some reinforcements, including goalkeeper Hedwig Lindahl, who will be familiar to any fans of the WSL as Chelsea’s long-time goalkeeper.
7. Paris Saint-Germain
PSG have a young team – with the odd addition of massive experience, including Brazil’s legendary Formiga, now 42 years of age. They have also added Ramona Bachmann to the squad from Chelsea – and her knowledge of English football and particularly Arsenal’s strengths and weaknesses will be a big boost to the French side in their quarter-final. They will also want to finish their campaign strongly having finished in second place in both the league and cup.
8. Glasgow City
Glasgow City have done magnificently to get this far, making it to the quarter-finals for the second time. They have dominated domestic competition once again but the step up to Europe is a massive one. Should they lose at this stage it won’t be for lack of nerve – they defeated Brondby on penalties in the last round.