After being robbed of two points in Madrid, thanks to some, frankly, quite ridiculous refereeing decisions, Chelsea return home to take on Paris FC in the second match of the 2023 UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) group stage.
Paris FC (not to be confused with PSG) lost, 2-1 to BK Häcken in their first match, but will undoubtedly be motivated to pull off this upset, just as they had done against Arsenal in the qualifying rounds.
This match will be played at Stamford Bridge — Kingsmeadow not UEFA-certified apparently — though with attendance capped at just 5000. Still, European nights under the lights at the Bridge are always special.
Date / Time: Thursday, November 23, 2023, 20.00 GMT; 3pm EST; 1:30am IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Ivana Martinčić — no VAR, which is how the travesty in Madrid was allowed to occur
Forecast: breezy; chance of rain
On TV: TNT Sports 1 (UK); none (USA); elsewhere
Streaming: discovery+ (UK); DAZN (USA)
Chelsea team news: The Blues have yet to taste defeat in any competition this season, and last week’s highly unjust 2-2 draw against Real Madrid, was just the second time we had dropped points all season. We were back in the wins column over the weekend, taking care of business against Liverpool to the tune of 5-1.
Unfortunately, Millie Bright’s absence is likely to continue for at least one more match, as she deals with a minor, “little bit angry” knee issue. She joins usual absentees Guro Reiten Melanie Leupolz, Catarina Macario, and Kateřina Svitková on the sidelines.
Paris FC team news: Paris FC have been just about the third best team in France behind giants Lyons and PSG for the past decade or so, and finished precisely in third last season as well. But they came through multiple rounds of qualifying in this competition by upsetting both Arsenal and Wolfsburg, and will not be overawed by this situation either. They must not be taken lightly.
Paris will be able to call upon defender Alsu Abdullina, who’s on loan from Chelsea this season, but major goal threat Mathilde Bourdieu is questionable. Leading goalscorer Julie Dufour is not.
Previously: No shortage of talking points and outrage in last week’s match. Use that as motivation now, I guess!