The UEFA Women's Champions League final may be nine and a half months away but the journey that ends in Lisbon on 22 May starts on Thursday when the eight qualifying round groups begin.
While 22 clubs, including holders VfL Wolfsburg, go straight into the competition's knockout phase from October, the other 32 entrants will vie for the ten available berths during one-venue mini-tournaments played between 8 and 13 August. The eight qualifying round group winners, plus the two runners-up with the best records against the sides first and third in their sections, will proceed to the draw for the round of 32 on 5 September.
The tie of the round is likely to be in the Netherlands where Glasgow City LFC, who got to the round of 16 in 2011/12, face inaugural Dutch-Belgian BeNe League champions FC Twente. The Dutch team are hosting the group, which also contains experienced WFC Osijek of Croatia and Malta's Birkirkara FC. Like Glasgow, Poland's RTP Unia Racibórz will be seeded in the round of 32 if they progress, but it will not be easy in Group 5 against former quarter-finalists FC Bobruichanka of Belarus, Slovenian hosts WFC Pomurje and Albania's Ada Velipoje.
Faroese champions KÍ Klaksvík, the only side to feature in all 13 editions of this competition, travel to Portugal to take on one of six debutants involved in this round – Clube Atlético Ouriense – plus Montenegro's WFC Ekonomist and FC Zürich Frauen, who were helped to last season's Swiss double by Inka Grings and Sonja Fuss.
The two-legged knockout phase gets under way in October, with the final on Thursday 22 May in Lisbon, two days before the men's UEFA Champions League decider at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica.
Qualifying round (8–13 August)
Group 1: WFC SFK 2000 Sarajevo (BIH)*, FC NSA Sofia (BUL), Cardiff City FC (WAL), Konak Belediyesi GSK (TUR)
Group 2: Olimpia Cluj-Napoca (ROU)*, ŽFK Spartak (SRB), Gintra Universitetas (LTU), SK Liepājas Metalurgs (LVA)
Group 3: MTK Hungária FC (HUN), WFC Kharkiv (UKR), Raheny United FC (IRL), Crusaders Strikers WFC (NIR)*
Group 4: FC Zürich Frauen (SUI), KÍ Klaksvík (FRO), Clube Atlético Ouriense (POR)*, WFC Ekonomist (MNE)
Group 5: RTP Unia Racibórz (POL), FC Bobruchanka (BLR), WFC Pomurje (SVN)*, Ada Velipoje (ALB)
Group 6: FC PAOK (GRE), PK-35 Vantaa (FIN)*, Pärnu Jalgpalliklubi (EST), ŽFK Bilјanini Izvori 2010 (MKD)
Group 7: Apollon Limassol LFC (CYP)*, ASA Tel-Aviv FC (ISR), FC Union Nové Zámky (SVK), CS Goiador-SS 11-Real (MDA)
Group 8: Glasgow City LFC (SCO), FC Twente (NED)*, WFC Osijek (CRO), Birkirkara FC (MLT)
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