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Quarter-finalists in profile

Published: Thursday 21 November 2013, 14.20CET
UEFA.com looks at the eight teams hoping for glory in Lisbon in May in the latter stages of the 2013/14 UEFA Women's Champions League, following the draws in Nyon.
by Paul Saffer
Quarter-finalists in profile
Neulengbach are the first Austrian quarter-finalists at their 11th attempt ©SV Neulengbach
Published: Thursday 21 November 2013, 14.20CET

Quarter-finalists in profile

UEFA.com looks at the eight teams hoping for glory in Lisbon in May in the latter stages of the 2013/14 UEFA Women's Champions League, following the draws in Nyon.

UEFA.com looks at the eight teams hoping for glory in Lisbon come May. Among the eight hopefuls are holders VfL Wolfsburg, former winners Arsenal LFC and 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, as well as four teams new to this stage, including FC Barcelona and debutants Tyresö FF.

Quarter-finals: 22/23 & 29/30 March
Tyresö FF (SWE) v SV Neulengbach (AUT)
VfL Wolfsburg (GER, holders) v FC Barcelona (ESP)
ASD Torres FC (ITA) v 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam (GER)
Birmingham City LFC (ENG) v Arsenal LFC (ENG)

Semi-finals: 19/20 & 26/27 April
Birmingham/Arsenal v Tyresö/Neulengbach
Torres/Potsdam v Wolfsburg/Barcelona

Final (Estádio do Restelo, Lisbon): 22 May
Winner semi-final 1 v Winner semi-final 2

Tyresö FF (SWE)
Best performance: first quarter-final
Top scorer: Christen Press 4
This may be the debut entry for the team from the Stockholm suburbs, but from the start the 2012 Swedish champions were among the favourites. They may have been beaten into second in the Damallsvenskan by FCR Malmö this year, but their focus was always on Europe, and they have knocked out Paris Saint-Germain and 2003 runners-up Fortuna Hjørring after a very tough draw.

A former winner with Umeå IK, Marta is joined in attack by prolific American Christen Press, Spain's Verónica Boquete and Norwegian starlet Caroline Graham Hansen. The quality goes all through the squad with Caroline Seger and Lisa Dahlqvist in midfield and former 1. FFC Frankfurt player Alex Kreiger in defence.

SV Neulengbach (AUT)
Best performance:
first quarter-final
Top scorer: Nina Burger 6
After 11 years of trying, Neulengbach have finally taken their campaign into the new year as the first Austrian quarter-finalists. Although they comfortably saw off debutants Konak Belediyespor in the round of 16, Apollon Limassol LFC's American-infused team took them all the way in the previous stage. Neulengbach's long-time spearhead is Burger, who against Konak took her tally of European goals for the club to 39, equalling the record total for a single team set by Umeå IK's Hanna Ljungberg.

VfL Wolfsburg (GER, holders)
Best performance: winners 2013
Quarter-final record: W1 L0
Top scorer: Conny Pohlers 6
Victors on their debut season last term, Wolfsburg are showing few signs of slowing. In the round of 32 they set a new UEFA competition aggregate record win of 27-0 against Pärnu JK and then Wolfsburg saw off Malmö with victories in both legs. Pohlers is now only two goals from being the first player to 50 in UEFA women's club competition, and this season the Wolfsburg defence has been bolstered with Sweden's Nilla Fischer and up-and-coming Germany goalkeeper Almuth Schult.

FC Barcelona (ESP)
Best performance: first quarter-final
Top scorers: Sonia Bermúdez, Marta Corredera, Jelena Čanković 2
Having already won the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Futsal Cup as well as manifold European titles in other sports, Barcelona now have the chance to add another. Comfortably beaten by Arsenal LFC on their debut last season, Barcelona did not have an easy draw. However, they ousted Brøndby IF on away goals and then FC Zürich, 18-year-old Serbian forward Čanković striking in both ties. They are the first Spanish quarter-finalists.

ASD Torres CF (ITA)
Best performance:
quarter-finals 2010, 2013
Quarter-final record:
W0 L2
Top scorer:
Patrizia Panico 2
Sardinia's finest made history by winning a fourth straight Italian title last season, holding off unbeaten UPC Tavagnacco with a 1-1 draw on the final day. Now they are back in the quarter-finals, where they fell to Arsenal in 2012/13. Their route to the last eight has not been easy, run close by FSK St Pölten-Spratzern and then having to overturn a first-leg deficit against FC Rossiyanka. Their round of 16 winner was struck by Panico, at 38 still their key striker and the Serie A top scorer for 12 of the last 15 seasons with four different clubs, boasting a career tally of more then 700 goals. They met Potsdam in the 2004/05 second qualifying round, losing 7-5 away, but both teams were already through.

1. FFC Turbine Potsdam (GER)
Best performance: winners 2005, 2010
Quarter-final record: W5 L1
Top scorer: Nataša Andonova 3
Potsdam looked favourites for a second straight round of 16 exit when they were matched with old rivals Olympique Lyonnais, who Turbine beat in the 2010 final but then lost to in the decider 12 months later, and in the following semi. They lost the first leg 1-0 at home and fell behind at Stade de Gerland, but then Potsdam came back to win 2-1 and progress on away goals, the only time in seven entries Lyon had gone out before the semis, having reached the last four finals.

The days when Potsdam boasted numerous German internationals have gone but long-time coach Bernd Schröder has built a strong team around young international talent like Norway's Maran Mjelde and Ada Hegerberg, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia attacker Andonova and Genoveva Añonma of Equatorial Guinea.

Birmingham City LFC (ENG)
Best performance: first quarter-final
Top scorer: Kirsty Linnett 3
Birmingham saw a 2-0 lead disappear in their debut tie last season against ASD Verona CF. However, they cruised into the quarter-finals this time, a 5-2 defeat of Russia's FK Zorkiy Krasnogorsk securing a 7-2 aggregate last-16 victory in their debut appearance at the men's St Andrew's Stadium. England attacker Karen Carney has spearheaded her home-town team in the last couple of years, though defender Laura Bassett has departed. Like their opponents Arsenal, they have failed to secure a 2014/15 slot after finishing outside the top two in England, unless they are victorious in Lisbon.

Arsenal LFC (ENG)
Best performance: winners 2007
Quarter-final record: W6 L5
Top scorer: Danielle Carter 6
Beaten semi-finalists for the last three seasons, Arsenal are at this stage for the 12th time, four more than any other club, but have never before faced English opposition. They need to win the competition this year to return after Liverpool LFC ended their nine-year reign as English champions, but Arsenal did lift both domestic cups as new manager Shelley Kerr was among the ten nominations for FIFA World Coach of the Year in Women's Football.

They secured a club European record 11-1 win against WFC CSHVSM-Kairat in the round of 32, having prevailed 3-0 and 3-2 in their last-16 tie against Glasgow City LFC. England midfielder Jordan Nobbs and competition joint top scorer Danielle Carter recently agreed new contracts while player-assistant manager Kelly Smith returned from a long injury absence against Glasgow. However, the versatile and prolific Kim Little has linked up with former manager Laura Harvey at Seattle Reign FC and that may not be the only departure.

Last updated: 03/12/13 10.29CET

Related information

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http://www.uefa.com/womenschampionsleague/news/newsid=2022685.html#quarter+finalists+profile

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