Women's quarter-finalists in focus

Eight teams remain in contention after the quarter-final draw was made and UEFA.com profiles the contenders, including two clubs each from England, France and Germany.

The UEFA Women's Champions League trophy at today's draw in Nyon
The UEFA Women's Champions League trophy at today's draw in Nyon ©UEFA.com

The eight UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finalists can now prepare for the ties on16/17 and 23/24 March. UEFA.com profiles the eight teams in the running.

Quarter-final draw
Zvezda-2005 (RUS) v Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)
Arsenal LFC (ENG) v Linköpings FC (SWE)
Everton (ENG) v FCR 2001 Duisburg (GER)
FCF Juvisy Essonne (FRA) v 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam (GER, holders)

Semi-final draw
Zvezda/Lyon v Arsenal/Linköping
Everton/Duisburg v Juvisy/Potsdam

Zvezda-2005 (RUS)
Runners-up to Duisburg in 2008/09, the Perm side fell in the last 16 last season to Røa IL on away goals, but exacted revenge on the Norwegian club this time thanks to a 4-0 home second-leg win. Last month Zvezda missed out on an automatic place in the 2011/12 edition after a 3-1 loss at FC Energy Voronezh on the final day of the Russian season meant their hosts pipped them to third place, both well behind Rossiyanka. However, the result against Røa suggested that Natalia Zinchenko – appointed coach in July after retiring from playing – is starting to find the right blend.

Best performance: runners-up 2009
Key players: Olena Khodyreva (defender), Daryna Apanaschenko (midfielder), Vira Dyatel (midfielder)

Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)
Pipped on penalties in the final last season by Potsdam, having reached the semis on their previous two entries, Lyon are now an established European force and few sides will wish to be handed a trip to Stade de Gerland, where the women's team play their big matches. Mixing the cream of French talent like Élodie Thomis with foreign signings including prolific Sweden striker Lotta Schelin, Swiss playmaker Lara Dickenmann and Norwegians Ingvild Stensland and Isabell Lehn Herlovsen, Lyon as usual have made a flying start to their league campaign and in this competition have beaten two potentially tricky opponents, AZ Alkmaar 10-1 on aggregate and FC Rossiyanka 11-1 overall.

Best performance: runners-up 2010
Key players: Sarah Bouhaddi (goalkeeper), Louisa Nécib (midfielder), Lotta Schelin (forward)

Arsenal LFC (ENG)
Having reached the quarter-finals on all eight of their previous entries, Arsenal's run seemed set to end until a last-gasp goal against Rayo Vallecano de Madrid gave them a 4-3 aggregate round of 16 victory, having lost the first leg 2-0 in Spain. English champions for the last seven seasons, they have been in a domestic hiatus since May as the new FA Women's Super League will launch next April with a summer season. They have rebuilt since the likes of Kelly Smith, Alex Scott and Karen Carney left for the United States last year, with the recent signings of England players Jordan Nobbs, Stephanie Houghton and Ellen White as well as the experienced Katie Chapman's return from Chicago Red Stars.

Best performance: winners 2007
Key players:
Katie Chapman (midfielder), Rachel Yankey (winger), Kim Little (forward)

Linköpings FC (SWE)
In the season when Sweden's Umeå Ik - two-time European champions and the only side to play in five finals –  were humbled in the qualifying round by Apollon Limassol LFC of Cyprus, 2009 Damallsvenskan winners Linköping have stepped up to the plate. Knocked out by Duisburg on their European debut last season, they have gone one better without conceding a goal in four matches so far. To earn a third straight European campaign they must win this competition having finished behind LdB FC Malmö and Göteborg FC this year but the recent return of Sweden forward Kosovare Asllani from Chicago is invaluable, as proved in the round of 16 against stubborn AC Sparta Praha.

Best performance: first quarter-final appearance
Key players: Sofia Lundgren (goalkeeper), Louise Fors (midfielder), Kosovare Asllani (forward)

Everton (ENG)
For the first time in three European campaigns, Everton have made the quarter-finals, and did so in style with a 5-2 aggregate success against Brøndby IF following a 4-1 win in Denmark. One of three survivors from the qualifying round – all, like Everton, national runners-up – Mo Marley's side proved their worth in May with an epic 3-2 FA Women's Cup final defeat of Arsenal. As befits a club managed by the successful coach of England Under-19s, Everton have a rich crop of up-and-coming talent, aided by experienced internationals Rachel Brown, Rachel Unitt, Jill Scott and Fara Williams.

Best performance: first quarter-final appearance
Key players:
Rachel Brown (goalkeeper), Fara Williams (midfielder), Jill Scott (midfielder)

FCR 2001 Duisburg (GER)
Deposed as European champions last season by Potsdam on penalties in the semi-finals, Duisburg have won all seven games of a campaign that began in the qualifying round, Turbine having also pipped them to the German title. Their prime asset is perenially prolific striker Inka Grings, who is leading the competition's goalscoring stakes with 11, including nine in the knockout phase, putting her on course to break the record of 14 set by former Potsdam forward Conny Pohlers in 2004/05 and matched by Margrét Lára Vidarsdóttir, then of Valur Reykjavík, last season. Duisburg's 7-2 overall ousting of 2003 runners-up Fortuna Hjørring in the last 16 underlined their qualities even in the injury absence of German internationals Linda Bresonik and Annike Krahn.

Best performance: winners 2009
Key players: Alexandra Popp (defender/midfielder), Simone Laudehr (midfielder), Inka Grings (forward)

FCF Juvisy Essonne (FRA)
Having fallen at the first hurdle on their two previous European entries in 2003/04 and 2006/07, last season's French runners-up have made the breakthrough, though were grateful for two Laëtitia Tonazzi goals, the second in extra time, to pip Italy's Torres in the last 16. With 37-year-old Sandrine Soubeyrand, the most capped France player of either gender, at their heart, Juvisy did superbly to deny ambitious Paris Saint-Germain FC second place in Feminine Division 1 last season and the recent exploits of Olympique Lyonnais underline how strong that league is.

Best performance: first quarter-final appearance
Key players:
Sandrine Soubeyrand (defender), Gaëtane Thiney (midfielder), Laëtitia Tonazzi (forward)

1. FFC Turbine Potsdam (GER, holders)
The winners of the first new-format UEFA Women's Champions League last season stormed through their first two ties against Åland United and SV Neulengbach with a total of 31 unanswered goals, including a pair of 9-0 away wins. Anja Mittag scored seven of those goals but 12 different players have registered in all. Under long-serving coach Bernd Schröder, they have also made a fine start to their German title defence and have a formidable European record – in four previous entries they have reached three finals and won twice, including on their 2004/05 debut.

Best performance: winners 2005, 2010
Key players: Babett Peter (defender), Fatmire Bajramaj (forward), Anja Mittag (forward)