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Women's Champions League | Quarter-Finals | 1st Leg
Mar 20, 2024 at 8pm UK
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Preview: Brann Women vs. Barcelona Women - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Brann Women vs. Barcelona Women - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Women's Champions League clash between Brann Women and Barcelona Women, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Barcelona Women will continue the defence of their Women's Champions League crown when they travel to Norway for the first leg of their quarter-final clash with Brann Women on Wednesday.

Brann finished behind record European champions Lyon in the group phase, while Barcelona dropped just two points on their way to winning Group A.

Match preview

The home side's memorable journey in this season's Champions League began with qualifying wins over Lokomotiv Stara Zagora, Anderlecht and Glasgow City.

As a result of their success in qualifying, Brann became the first Norwegian club to reach the group stage since the format was introduced for the 2021-22 campaign.

They began the main draw as the team with the lowest coefficient, but they ultimately exceeded expectations to win four and draw one of their six games (L1), ensuring that they finished above Slavia Prague and St Polten.

Although they have been presented with a tough draw against Barcelona, Martin Ho's side proved they could compete with the very best teams in Europe when they fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 in their home meeting with eventual group winners Lyon.

If Brann are to trouble the reigning European champions, they will have to improve upon their display in Sunday's league opener against Lillestrom, with goals from Cecilie Redisch Kvamme and Rakel Engesvik proving fruitless in a 4-2 defeat.

Having already wrapped up the Spanish Super Cup, Barcelona are still looking to collect three more pieces of silverware in Jonatan Giraldez's final season as head coach.

The Blaugrana recently sealed their place in the Copa de la Reina final with an aggregate victory over Athletic Bilbao, while they are currently nine points clear at the top of the Liga F table after winning 19 and drawing one of their 20 league matches.

They are also set to make their ninth consecutive appearance in the Champions League quarter-finals after winning five of their six matches (D1) to top a group that contained Benfica, Eintracht Frankfurt and Rosengard.

After successfully negotiating their previous five quarter-final ties, Barcelona will be heavy favourites to get the better of Brann and set up a semi-final clash with either Ajax or Chelsea.

Barcelona, who are yet to lose a competitive game this season, will carry significant momentum into the first leg after winning their last five competitive matches, including a dominant 7-0 win in Sunday's home meeting with Costa Adeje Tenerife.

Brann Women Women's Champions League form:

Brann Women form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L

Barcelona Women Women's Champions League form:

Barcelona Women form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Brann are unable to call upon Rikke Nygard and Nanne Ruuskanen, who are both working on their rehabilitation from long-term injuries.

Goalkeeper Aurora Mikalsen is likely to feature in between the posts, and she is expected to be shielded by the central defensive trio of Ingrid Stenevik, Marthine Ostenstad and Joanna Tynnila.

At the opposite end of the pitch, Australian forward Larissa Crummer is expected to be given the responsibility of leading the line for the hosts.

As for the Catalan giants, they remain without the services of Mapi Leon and Jana Fernandez due to knee and hamstring injuries respectively.

After rotating his squad at the weekend, Giraldez is set to bring Lucy Bronze, Ingrid Engen, Ona Batlle, Patri Guijarro and Aitana Bonmati.

Salma Paralluelo and Mariona Caldentey are also expected to return to the side to feature in a front three alongside Norway international Caroline Graham Hansen.

Brann Women possible starting lineup:
Mikalsen; Stenevik, Ostenstad, Tynnila; Kvamme, Kielland, Haugland, Lund; Gaupset, Engesvik; Crummer

Barcelona Women possible starting lineup:
Coll; Bronze, Engen, Paredes, Batlle; Guijarro, Walsh, Bonmati; Graham Hansen, Paralluelo, Caldentey

We say: Brann Women 1-4 Barcelona Women

Brann exceeded expectations to advance to the quarter-finals for the very first time, but we think that they could be outclassed by a Barcelona team that boasts a wealth of world-class quality and has experienced significant success in this competition over the last number of seasons.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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