Chelsea hold a slim 1-0 advantage from last week’s first leg in this Round of 32 matchup against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Chelsea will advance with any draw (or win) or any one-goal loss with at least one away goal. The Blues have yet to concede a goal through the first four games in all competitions of the new season, following back-to-back 6-0 wins with back-to-back 1-0 triumphs.
More of the same, please!
Date/Time: Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 18:00 BST (1pm EDT)
Venue: Grünwalder Stadion, Munich, Germany
Forecast: Partly cloudy, 58°F/14°C at kickoff and a 5% chance of rain, 1 m/s N
Notable Team News: After last week’s 1-0 defeat in England, Bayern manager Thomas Wörle remained confident that his side could fight back, and felt that they just needed a bit more coolness when it came to finishing off their multitude of chances created.
“It’s not an easy position for the second leg but we’re capable of pinning Chelsea back again like we did tonight.”
-Thomas Wörle; source: FC Bayern Munich
For her part, Emma Hayes conceded that the Blues rode their luck a bit, but she also took nothing away from the strong defensive showing. Nevertheless, Chelsea will need to raise their level of play this week.
There are no new injuries for either side. Jovana Damnjanovic, Sydney Lohmann, Viktoria Schnaderbeck weren’t available for Bayern’s last match, neither were long-term absentees Anna Gerhardt and Lena Lotzen. Deanna Cooper and Jade Bailey are still missing for the Blues through long-term injuries of their own.
Expected Lineup and Prediction: Emma Hayes is likely favor a slightly more defensive starting XI. I expect to see Millie Bright retain her slot in the back three, with Thorisdottir favored over Blundell on the right. On the left, I’m hoping that Claire Rafferty will get her first start of the season. As for the middle of the park, there’s no need to swap out Chapman and Mjelde, who have been solid and spectacular, respectively. That leaves the front three. Up front, I think last week’s lone scorer, Drew Spence gets a chance to be a nuisance on the right, while Gemma Davison gets rewarded for providing a consistent threat at left wingback by being selected for the attacking role on the same side. Rather than Kirby being given the start, it’s possible that Bachmann gets a shot for at least 60 minutes up top. My guess is the Blues will look to soak up Bayern’s pressure and try to steal a goal or two on the counter. With that in mind...
Predicted Scoreline: 1-1
DO OR DIE: As a reminder, unlike on the men’s side of the Champions League, we are already in the knockout stages of the competition, so elimination here means another quick exit for the Blues in Europe. But we’ve shown that Bayern can be beaten, so let’s do this.
COME ON, CHELSEA!