VFL Wolfsburg vs FC Barcelona Women's Champions League preview: the German and Spanish champions meet in semis
Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images and Alex Caparros - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Eager to feature in another UWCL final, FC Barcelona and VfL Wolfsburg both have added motivation to win Tuesday evening's semi-final: the opportunity to potentially go up against semi-finalist and current champions, Olympique Lyonnais.

The Catalans suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat to the French champions in their first UWCL finals appearance in 2019 and are looking to get one better this campaign. 

VfL Wolfsburg has been kicked out of the competition by Lyon consecutively since 2016, twice in quarter-finals and twice in the final.

Both teams have had their best domestic season possible, winning a double in their respective competitions and are eager for the opportunity to get the better of the current champions, but they first have to get through each other and Lyon past their french rivals, PSG.

Barca marginally beat their Spanish rivals, Atletico Madrid, 1-0 in the quarter-finals with a late Kheira Hamraoui goal on Friday evening. 

While the German champions left their mark on FC Glasgow City with a 9-1 win and four goals from player to watch, Pernille Harder.

Stephan Lerch's side have scored 31 goals on their journey to semis and just conceded one, while Lluis Cortes' Barca have scored 12 and conceded two. 

  • Team news

Barca's squad:

Keepers: Sandra Paños, Catalina Coll, Gemma Font

Defenders: Mapi Leon, Melanie Serrano, Marta Torrejón, Leila Ouahabi, Andrea Pereira, Ana-Maria Crnogorčević, Laia Codina, Jana Fernandez

Midfielders: Vicky Losada, Mariona Caldentey, Kheira Hamraoui, Alexia Putellas (C), Patri Guijarro, Aitana Bonmati, Lieke Martens

Forwards: Jennifer Hermoso, Caroline Graham Hansen, Asisat Oshoala, Giovana Queiroz, Bruna Vilamala, Sara Ismael Salgueda

Lluis Cortes played a 4-4-2 against Atletico Madrid with Hermoso and Oshoala leading the front line.

Martens and Hansen played as high wingers, which transitioned into a line of four attackers on offensive plays. 

Barcelona had the least amount of movement in the summer transfer window from all clubs in left in the competition, and seven of their starters from Friday evening appeared in the starting XI of the 2019 final.

Wolfsburg's squad:

Keepers: Almuth Schult, Katarzyna Kiedrzynek, Julia Kassen, Friederike Abt

Defenders: Kathrin-Julia Hendrich, Dominique Janssen, Felicitas Rauch, Sara Doorsoun-Khajeh

Midfielders: Zsanett Jakabfi, Lena Oderdorf, Anna Blässe, Fridolina Rolfö, Ingrid Syrstad Engen, Pia-Sophie Wolter, Lara Dickenmann, Joelle Wedemeyer, Lena Goessling, Lisanne Gräwe

Forwards: Pauline Bremer, Svenja Huth, Alexandra Popp, Ewa Pajor, Pernille Harder (C)

Lerch did not hold back against Glasgow, and fielded his strongest team in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Pajor leading the attack and Rolfö, Harder and Huth sitting between the striker and the two holding midfield players. 

  • Cortes' thoughts 

Speaking to FC Barcelona media:

"We have a good team and we're ready to compete with any team."

"In football anything can happen, so we cannot say that there is a clear favourite. Little by little the distance between Wolfsburg and Barca has been diminishing and now we are ready.

"The team is coming into this game with a lot of extra illusion and motivation, knowing that if we win, we are into the Champions League finals again.

"It's going to be a tough game but we are going to fight from the first minute."

  • Lerch's thoughts

Speaking to VfL Wolfsburg media:

"Barcelona are a technically gifted side who are strong in every position. Barca play a dominant, possession-based style of football, so it will be intriguing to see who ends up having more possession.

"Whoever has the ball is also capable of scoring a goal at any time. It’s important we help each other out and don’t allow the Barcelona attack to flourish.

"We won’t be able to completely shut them out, but together we want to keep them under control.The aim must be to constantly trouble the opposition and keep them busy.

  • Players to watch 

Pernille Harder, VfL Wolfsburg

The Champions League trophy is the only trophy Harder has not won with Wolfsburg in her three years with the club. 

She finished top scorer in the Frauen-Bundesliga this campaign netting 27 goals and has tallied 38 in all competitions. 

The Danish captain is currently one goal away from current UWCL top scorer, Vivianne Miedema, who racked ten goals in the competition, but with Arsenal no longer in the tournament the Danish is looking favourite to win the golden boot.

Harder is a force to mess with in one of her best seasons yet and she will undoubtedley fight the hardest for her team to get through to the final. 

Caroline Graham Hansen, FC Barcelona

The Norwegian international is facing her former club in the quarter-finals during first year with the Catalans. 

The technical winger is well underrated with the likes of Hermoso, Martens, Oshoala and Putellas stealing most of the attacking spotlight, but if you watch CGH throughout a match you will see her magic.

With tactical awareness and intelligent playmaking skills, she is nothing but a fit to the Barcelona way of playing.

Her speedy footwork gets her out of trouble on the wing which usually follows with a pin point cross into the box for Oshoala, Hermoso and Martens to run onto. 

CGH is a crucial asset to the Barcelona attack and is the player with the most understanding of her semi-final opponents. 

  • Where to watch

Kick off is at 19:00 UK time and will be on BT Sport 1.

USA: CBS All Access

Austria, Germany and Switzerland: Sport1

Scandinavia: ViaPlay

Everywhere else: UEFA TV

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