FC Barcelona Femení vs VfL Wolfsburg Frauen
Competition/Round: 2021-22 UEFA Women’s Champions League, Semi-Finals, Leg 1
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Lieke Martens, Jana Fernández, Bruna Vilamala, Cata Coll (out)
Wolfsburg Outs & Doubts: Lena Oberdof (out)
Date/Time: Friday, April 22, 2022, 6.45pm CET (Barcelona), 5.45pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 12.45pm ET, 9.45pm PT (USA), 10.15pm IST (India)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Sandra Bastos (POR)
VAR: Tiago Martins (POR)
How to watch: DAZN - YouTube (click here to watch tonight’s game)
Barcelona’s all-conquering women’s team is set to play the biggest game of their season so far this Friday night in Catalonia when they welcome Wolfsburg for the first leg of the Women’s Champions League semi-finals at the Greatest Stadium on Earth, which is once again expected to have a world-record crowd for a women’s match.
It was three weeks ago that the world witnessed a historic El Clásico at Camp Nou which featured the greatest attendance in women’s football history and one of the greatest women’s games of all-time. Barça and Real Madrid put on a show, and the Blaugrana won a memorable match to clinch a place in the Final Four of the European Cup.
And they will need every single one of the expected 92,000 fans at Camp Nou for this one too. If the Madrid match was a celebration, this will be a battle: Wolfsburg have been in incredible form in 2022 and destroyed Arsenal in the UWCL quarterfinals, and are going to win the Women’s Bundesliga while also clinching a place in the German Cup final.
Just like Barça the Germans are still alive in their bid for a historic Treble, and they are one of the very few teams who can claim to have Barça’s number: the Catalans have never beaten Wolfsburg, and it was the German side who eliminated Barça at this exact stage of the Champions League two years ago.
Barça have improved tremendously since then, however, and are the undisputed world’s best team now. They have won all 39 games in all competitions and are closing in on 200 goals scored this season, and are looking to become the first team ever in men’s or women’s football to win two European Trebles in a row.
Jonatan Giráldez gets some huge reinforcements for this tie as Claudia Pina and Patri Guijarro are back from minor injuries suffered in the international break, while Mariona Caldentey and Asisat Oshoala return after missing almost three months with hamstring injuries. Mariona and especially Oshoala add crucial depth to the attack at the most important time of the season, and will be needed against a very good Wolfsburg defense.
The Germans are nearly unbeatable at home this season and next week’s second leg will take place at the Volkswagen Arena, which makes it imperative for Barça to take advantage of what will be an incredible atmosphere at Camp Nou to beat Wolfsburg for the first time and earn a big first leg advantage.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Paños; Marta, Paredes, Mapi, Rolfö; Aitana, Patri, Alexia; Graham, Hermoso, Pina
Wolfsburg (4-2-3-1): Schult; Wilms, Hendrich, Janssen, Rauch; Popp, Lattwein; Huth, Roord, Jónsdóttir; Wassmuth
This will not be easy. Wolfsburg are a legitimately great team in red-hot form and have Barça’s number, but Camp Nou will prove the difference in this tie: 3-1 to the good girls.