This is the match of the tournament to this point. Chelsea takes a one goal lead into the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-final second leg over Wolfsburg and are seeking to finally move past a side that has knocked them out of the tournament three times. Both teams are playing great football and are among the leaders of their respective leagues.
Chelsea sits atop the Women's Super League table; Wolfsburg is second in the Frauen Bundesliga. The first leg provided everything a football fan could ask for: exciting attacks featuring smart runs, terrific passes and great finishes. Smart defence marked by great positional play and some absolutely heroic goaltending by both keepers. A level of passion and determination by both sides that showed for the entirety of the match.
Managers Emma Hayes and Stephan Lerch have their squads ready for this monumental tilt that will determine a place in the Champions League semi-final.
Chelsea gets some good news on the injury front. Striker Bethany England has cleared concussion protocol and has been practicing with the team this week. Do not look for her to start, but she could be available to sub on for the Blues. The Blues have returned to their dominant ways in the WSL since their surprise defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion, winning five league matches and the Continental Cup final without conceding a single goal.
Wolfsburg is also playing in fine form right now. Their loss in the first leg was the team's first since dropping a decision to Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich back in November. The She-Wolves have their full complement of players healthy and can sub in quality players at all positions. Look for Lerch to use his bench freely if the match goes late and Wolfsburg needs that to make up that goal.
Both teams played excellent football the first time out, so do not look for many changes to the starting XI's we saw in the first leg:
Chelsea 4-3-3 (4-1-2-1):
Ann-Katrin Berger (GK)
Hannah Blundell, Millie Bright, Magda Eriksson, Jonna Andersson
Melanie Leupolz, Sophie Ingle, Erin Cuthbert
Fran Kirby, Pernille Harder, Sam Kerr
Katarzyna Kiedrzynek (GK)
Felicitas Rauch, Dominique Janssen, Sara Doorsoun-Khajeh, Kathrin Hendrich
Ingrid Sysrtad Engen, Lena Goessling
Fridolina Rolfo, Alexandra Popp, Svenja Huth Ewa Pajor
Ones To Watch
One cannot talk about Chelsea's run in the Champion's League without talking about the play of goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger. She has conceded but two goals in four matches in the tournament thus far. One of those goals was on a penalty; she has stopped three other penalty chances that she has faced. Chelsea's dynamic duo of Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr linked up once again in the first leg, and have been unstoppable in WSL play. Look for them to test the Wolfsburg defense once more.
For Wolfsburg, the attacking front line of Fridolina Rolfo, Alexandra Popp, and Svenja Huth were a force the entire match the first time out. Only the massive play of Berger and two shots off the post kept the side from running away with the match. Katarzyna Kiedrzynek was not so busy as Berger between the sticks, but the She-Wolf keeper was tested by Chelsea's attack. Her aggressive style of keeping forced the Blues' attack wide, and was responsible for some of the most exciting moments of the match. Had her defense not left her out on a limb for the second goal, the match might very well have ended in a draw.
The first leg of this clash was quite possibly the worldwide match of the year. If you missed it last Wednesday, watch the replay. The action was non-stop, from the first whistle to the last.
Wolfsburg was the better side, had the better of the play, hit two posts, and dominated in almost every stat - except the big one. Berger was the Blues' saviour once again. The She-Wolves fired eight shots at the Chelsea keeper; the only one to find the back of the net was a Dominique Janssen from the penalty spot. The Blues only managed three shots of their own, but those were quality chances. Chelsea managed to bury two of those to earn a 2-1 victory. They take that one-goal advantage into the second leg.
How To Watch
Wednesday's match will be played at Szusza Ferenc Stadion in Budapest, Hungary. Kick-off is set for 13:00 UK time.
The match will be available to view on the following platforms:
United Kingdom: BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BTSport,com, BT Sport App.
Ireland: BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BTSport,com, BT Sport App.
Portugal: Eleven Sports 1 Portugal