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Chelsea FCW vs. BK Häcken FF, UEFA Women’s Champions League: Preview, team news, how to watch

European night at the Bridge

Chelsea FC Women Training Session Photo by Harriet Lander - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Having forgotten what a “loss” was after an almost eight-month unbeaten run, Chelsea fell hard in a shocking defeat to Arsenal over the weekend. The combination of a well-executed gameplan from them, a poorly executed gameplan from us, and even worse officiating was too much even for Emma Hayes’ Mentality Monsters.

But unlike Arsenal, Chelsea get to play in the UEFA Women’s Champions League midweek, and thus there’s little room for doom and gloom, or deep reflection. What’s done is done. Onwards!

Date / Time: Thursday, December 14, 2023, 20.00 GMT; 3:00pm EST; 1:30pm (next day) IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6, London, UK
Referee: Esther Staubli
Forecast: Partly cloudy and light winds

On TV: none (US); TNT Sports 5 (UK); elsewhere
Streaming: DAZN (US); DAZN, discovery+ (UK)

Chelsea FC Women Training Session Photo by Harriet Lander - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Chelsea team news: After drawing our opening match 2-2 against Real Madrid in Spain and beating Paris FC 4-1 at home, three points in this game should set us up nicely for the rest of the group stage.

While Millie Bright and Jelena Čanković are still recovering from injury, midfielder Melanie Leupolz should now be ready to make her comeback after that got delayed due to a minor illness. She can be of great help in tearing apart a “very resilient” and “atypical Swedish team”, (ed.note: which apparently just means that they are good defending?).

“We’ve seen the way they’ve played in the Champions League and the league. We know that they’ll cause problems, particularly in transition. They are a very atypical Swedish team in the way they defend in a 4-1-4-1. They’ll make it difficult for us to have the inside of the pitch so we need to have variety in our play.

“They’re very resilient defensively, tough to break down, and very clinical. They take their chances, especially in the transitions. You have to be switched on, particularly from set-plays. They’ve just proved their efficiency.

“We’ve prepared in the best way. We only had one day preparation time, but we’re used to doing this and we don’t take them lightly. I know the team is switched on, trained really well today, and our focus is all on tomorrow evening.”

-Emma Hayes; source: Chelsea FC

BK Hcken FF v Real Madrid CF: Group D - UEFA Women’s Champions League 2023/24 Photo by Gunnar Hoffsten - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

BK Häcken team news: The Wasps’ start to the group stage has subverted all expectations of having Chelsea and Real Madrid battling it out for the top place in the table. They beat Paris FC 2-1 in France, then hosted Real Madrid and won with the same scoreline as well to currently lead the group.

Their playing style might not be a delight to the eyes but it certainly gets them results. They should also have a near fully fit and rested squad as they haven’t played a match since the aforementioned Madrid game at the end of November. The only two injury absences are midfielder Anna Csiki and forward Stine Larsen.

Previously: This will be our first ever match against BK Häcken. The only other Swedish team we’ve ever played are Rosengård, whom we beat 4-0 on aggregate — 3-0 at home, and 1-0 away — back in the Round of 16 in 2017-18.

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