Preview: Lyon Women vs. Chelsea Women
Chelsea Women will travel to France on Wednesday for the first leg of their Women’s Champions League quarter-final tie against reigning European champions Lyon Women.
Lyon are competing in their 14th European quarter-final, while the Blues are featuring in the last eight of the competition for the fourth time in their history.
No side has won more Women’s Champions League trophies than Lyon, who collected their eighth European title last season with a 3-1 victory over Barcelona in the final.
Lyon’s defence of their European crown began in the worst possible fashion as they fell to a heavy 5-1 defeat in their home meeting with Arsenal.
However, Sonia Bompastor’s side picked up 11 points from their next five group matches to finish in second place and set up a quarter-final tie with Group A winners Chelsea.
A last-eight meeting with the current English champions is a tricky proposition, but Lyon have rarely faltered at this stage of the competition, progressing from 12 of their 13 European quarter-final ties.
Having won all four of their competitive home games in 2023 without conceding, the hosts will be hopeful that they can obtain a first-leg lead on Wednesday.
The closest that Chelsea have come to winning this competition was in the 2020-21 season when they made it all the way to the final before being thumped 4-0 by Barcelona.
After being dumped out of the group stage last term, the Blues made no slip-ups this time around, winning five and drawing one of their six group games.
Having cruised through a group that featured the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, Emma Hayes’s side may be quietly confident that they possess the quality to seriously challenge for the European crown this term.
A quarter-final clash with the reigning European Champions represents a significant obstacle, but the Blues can draw inspiration from the fact that they have never been eliminated at this stage of the competition, winning all three of their previous last-eight ties.
Since beginning the month with a League Cup final defeat to Arsenal, the West London side have recorded three straight victories, including a 3-1 win over Reading at the weekend to secure their place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, ensuring that they still have the chance to complete a remarkable treble.
Lyon Women Women’s Champions League form:
Lyon Women form (all competitons):
Chelsea Women Women’s Champions League form:
Chelsea Women form (all competitions):
We say: Lyon Women 1-1 Chelsea Women
Chelsea will face a difficult challenge on Wednesday, but having avoided defeat in all six of their Champions League games this season, we think that they will hold Lyon to a draw, which would represent a positive result for the away side.