Tough Euro draws for Arsenal and Chelsea women in historic group stage


rsenal Women were paired with holders Barcelona in Monday’s draw for the new-look Women’s Champions League.

The Gunners have started the Women’s Super League in sparkling fashion, beating Chelsea and Reading to go top of the table alongside Brighton.

But, having come through two qualifying rounds to reach the group stage of the Champions League, new boss Jonas Eidevall has been given the task of halting Barcelona in Group C.

Hoffenheim and HB Koge, of Denmark, make up the rest of the group but it is the clash between Arsenal, who won the tournament in 2006/07 and reigning champions Barcelona that catches the eye.

Barcelona destroyed Chelsea in last season’s final in Gothenburg, running out 4-0 winners to become the first team to win both the men’s and women’s version of the tournament.

Women’s Super League champions Chelsea were drawn in Group A on Monday with Juventus, who have won the past four Serie A titles and are managed by former Arsenal head coach Joe Montemurro.

Chelsea will also come up against DFB Pokal holders Wolfsburg, having beaten the German side in the quarter-finals last season, and Swiss champions Servette, who overcame Glasgow City to reach this stage of the competition.

Tough task: Arsenal face last season’s winners Barcelona

/ AFP via Getty Images

Chelsea will still be favourites to progress as group winners, with the top two from each of the four groups qualifying for the quarter-final stage this year.

As well as a reformatted tournament, the Women’s Champions League has a new television deal in place from the group stage onwards, with the matches streaming free on DAZN’s YouTube channel.

The first round of matches is on October 5/6 and will be followed by games on October 13/14, November 9/10, November 17/18, December 8/9 and December 15/16.

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