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Women's Champions League set for kick-off

The UEFA Women's Champions League qualifying round begins on Thursday as 32 teams, newcomers from Latvia and Albania among them, chase ten knockout berths.

There is a record entry for this season's competition
There is a record entry for this season's competition ©Sportsfile

The road to the UEFA Women's Champions League final in Munich on 17 May 2011 kicks off on Thursday with 32 teams in action across eight qualifying round groups.

Matches will take place in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Portugal, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Finland, Cyprus and Croatia on Thursday, Saturday and next Tuesday.

It all kicks off in Sarajevo at 11.00CET on Thursday when Gintra Universitetas of Lithuania meet Turkish champions Ataşehir Belediyespor in Group 4. Later that day other fixtures to note include debut matches for representatives from Latvia and Albania. Latvia's SK Liepājas Metalurgs meet MTK Hungária FC in Group 2 while KS Ada take on Finnish Group 6 hosts PK-35 Vantaa.

Two teams who made an impact last season also begin their campaigns. Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, a minute from knocking out Arsenal LFC in the round of 16, open Group 3 against Irish side Peamount United. Group 7 hosts Apollon Limassol LFC humbled two-time winners Umeå IK at this stage a year ago and begin against a FC Progrès Niedercorn side ending Luxembourg's nine-season absence from UEFA women's club competition; they previously competed in the inaugural 2001/02 edition.

All eight group winners plus the two best runners-up will proceed to the draw for the rounds of 32 and 16 on 23 August, with the two-legged knockout phase beginning the following month. Holders Olympique Lyonnais are among 22 sides entering in the last 32 from the record entry of 54 teams.

Qualifying round mini-tournaments (*hosts)
Group 1: FC PAOK (GRE), BSC Young Boys (SUI), CS Galiador-SS 11 Chisinau (MDA), ZFK Nase Taksi-SNT 2010 (MKD)*

Group 2: SU 1 ° Dezembro (POR)*, MTK Hungária FC (HUN), ASA Tel-Aviv FC (ISR), SK Liepājas Metalurgs (LVA)

Group 3: Rayo Vallecano de Madrid (ESP), ŽNK Krka (SVN)*, Peamount United (IRL), Pärnu FC (EST)

Group 4: WFC SFK 2000 Sarajevo (BIH)*, Gintra Universitetas (LTU), Olimpia Cluj-Napoca (ROU), Ataşehir Belediyespor (TUR)

Group 5: Glasgow City LFC (SCO), KÍ Klaksvík (FRO), ŽFK Spartak Jaffa (SRB)*, Mosta FC (MLT)

Group 6: RTP Unia Racibórz (POL), PK-35 Vantaa (FIN)*, ŠK Slovan Bratislava (SVK), KS Ada (ALB)

Group 7: Legenda Chernigiv (UKR), Apollon Limassol LFC (CYP)*, Swansea City Ladies AFC (WAL), FC Progrès Niedercorn (LUX)

Group 8: FC NSA Sofia (BUL), FC Bobruchanka (BLR), WFC Osijek (CRO)*, Crusaders FC (NIR)

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