Women’s Champions League: Arsenal face Lyon, Chelsea in group with PSG | Women’s Champions League

Arsenal and Chelsea will have their work cut out to progress from the group stage of the Women’s Champions League after being handed unenviable assignments on Monday.

Jonas Eidevall’s Arsenal play the holders, Lyon, along with the Italian champions, Juventus and Zürich, and Emma Hayes’s side face Real Madrid, Paris Saint-German and the Albanian club Vllaznia. Lyon, who beat Barcelona 3-1 in last season’s final, have won the Champions League eight times and will offer a tricky Group C challenge for Arsenal, quarter-finalists last season when they bowed out to Wolfsburg.

If the north London side’s reunion with Joe Montemurro, their former manager now in charge of Juventus, could also prove challenging, Chelsea’s task looks similarly awkward.

Group A will involve Hayes’s WSL title holders meeting a Madrid ensemble who, with Scotland’s Caroline Weir impressing, eliminated Manchester City in a qualifying round this summer, and PSG, who despite being riven with internal problems were semi-finalists last season.

Chelsea will be particularly keen to be one of the two teams to progress from their group to the quarter-finals after elimination in last season’s group stage.

Group D – Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Rosengård and Benfica – features intriguing contests between three former Manchester City teammates: England’s Barcelona-domiciled Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh and their fellow Lioness Georgia Stanway, now with Bayern.

The remaining group – B – comprises Wolfsburg, Slavia Prague, the Austrian club St Pölten and Roma. Matches will take place between 19 October and 22 December and the final is scheduled for Eindhoven’s PSV Stadion on 3 or 4 June.

Should Arsenal or Chelsea get that far they will have done it the hard way in a competition in which British clubs have traditionally failed to flourish. Chelsea reached the 2021 final, losing to Barcelona, but no British side have won the Champions League since Arsenal’s solitary success in 2007.

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