Chelsea and Barcelona lock horns at the Gamla Ullevi Stadium for the UEFA Women’s Champions League final later today. Neither side has won the competition, so an intriguing contest awaits us in Sweden.
While Barcelona are one of the most exciting teams in world football, Chelsea have also been a force to be reckoned with this season. The Blues have already won the Barclays Women’s Super League title and the FA Women’s Continental League Cup, giving them a unique opportunity to complete a historic quadruple this month. Emma Hayes’s side are also in the final of the Women’s FA Cup, so the coming weeks could turn out to be quite special for the Blues.
As they prepare to take on the Catalan giants to secure continental kingship, here are five reasons why the Women’s UEFA Champions League final will be worth watching.
#5 Chelsea are back-to-back WSL winners
Chelsea have been in stunning form this season and retained their WSL title with a 5-0 win against Reading earlier this month. Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr have scored goals for fun, while other players like Magdalena Eriksson and Ann-Katrin Berger have also played starring roles for the Blues.
#4 The Blues boast a world-class squad
Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr have stolen the limelight this season with their goalscoring exploits, but Chelsea have quality players across the pitch. Due to her stunning performances, Kirby was named FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year for the second time in her career, as she became the first player in history to win the award twice. The 27-year-old has scored 25 goals and provided 18 assists in all competitions to date and will look to add to her tally against Barcelona.
As for Chelsea’s midfield, Hayes is spoilt for choice. The Blues have several quality players in this position, with Ji So-Yun, Erin Cuthbert and Sophie Ingle impressing with a string of eye-catching displays.
At the back, skipper Magdalena Eriksson has marshaled the defense expertly, while Ann-Katrin Berger has been magnificent between the sticks for the Blues.
#3 Chelsea Women have broken several records this season
Chelsea have already won two trophies this season and have done so while breaking several records along the way. The Blues managed to go 23 games unbeaten in a run that stretched back to last season, which turned out to be the longest unbeaten streak in WSL history. Chelsea also broke the record for goals scored and most points in a season, capping off a historic league campaign.
#2 Chelsea are two victories away from a historic quadruple
Chelsea have the UEFA Women’s Champions League final to look forward to this season, while the Women’s FA Cup final is also on the horizon. Emma Hayes was Arsenal’s assistant manager when they won the quadruple in 2007, so she’ll look to use her experience to lead the Blues to what could be an achievement for the ages.
#1 Clash of the titans with Barcelona
Barcelona and Chelsea have been the best teams in the world this season, so the UEFA Women’s Champions League final could be a fantastic contest. The Catalan giants have won their domestic league title and the League Cup like Chelsea and will look to cap off a spectacular season by winning the European honor.
Neither side has won the competition before, so regardless of what happens later today, history is set to be re-written in Sweden. The game is set to kick off on 17th May, 00:30 hours IST and can be streamed on the 5th Stand app and the official Chelsea website.