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Women's Champions League kicks off

Glasgow City LFC, Apollon LFC, ever-presents KÍ Klaksvík and Montenegrin pioneers ŽFK Ekonomist Nikšić are among the 32 clubs competing in the qualifying round from Saturday.

Glasgow City would like another successful campaign
Glasgow City would like another successful campaign ©Glasgow City LFC

The 2012/13 UEFA Women's Champions League starts on Saturday with 32 of the 54 contenders taking part in the qualifying round.

Among them are Glasgow City LFC, who reached the round of 16 last season. However, with only the eight group winners and two best runners-up to join the 22 top-ranked sides in the round of 32, Glasgow have a tough task. Two of their opponents, Finnish hosts PK-35 Vantaa and Croatia's WFC Osijek, also got past this stage 12 months ago.

Another team to have impressed in recent years are Apollon LFC of Cyprus, who eliminated two-time winners Umeå IK in the 2010/11 qualifying round. They host Group 6 against Ukraine's WFC Kharkiv, Ada Velipoje of Albania and the Faroe Islands' KÍ Klaksvík, the only side to have entered all 12 UEFA women's club seasons. By contrast, ŽFK Ekonomist Nikšić are Montenegro's first representative in any form of European women's competition and are in Slovakia to play  ŠK Slovan Bratislava, Poland's RTP Unia Racibórz and FC Bobruchanka from Belarus, quarter-finalists in 2004/05.

The ten teams that progress will go into the 23 August draw for the rounds of 32 and 16. All the exempted clubs, including holders Olympique Lyonnais, enter in the last 32 with the eventual aim of a place in the 23 May final in London.

Qualifying round
Group 1:
FC Zürich Frauen (SUI), Gintra Universitetas (LTU), WFC Pomurje (SVN)*, Ataşehir Belediyespor (TUR)

Group 2: FC NSA (BUL), BIIK (KAZ), ŽFK Spartak (SRB)*, Pärnu Jalgpalliklubi (EST)

Group 3: SU 1° Dezembro (POR), Olimpia Cluj-Napoca (ROU), Glentoran Belfast United (NIR), Birkirkara FC (MLT)*

Group 4: RTP Unia Racibórz (POL), FC Bobruchanka (BLR), ŠK Slovan Bratislava (SVK)*, ŽFK Ekonomist Nikšić (MNE)

Group 5: WFC SFK 2000 Sarajevo (BIH)*, ASA Tel-Aviv FC (ISR), Peamount United (IRL), Cardiff Met LAFC (WAL)

Group 6: Apollon LFC (CYP)*, WFC Kharkiv (UKR), KÍ Klaksvík (FRO), Ada Velipoje (ALB)

Group 7: FC PAOK (GRE), MTK Hungária FC (HUN), ZNK Nase Taksi-SNT 2010 (MKD)*, SKONTO FK (LVA)

Group 8: Glasgow City LFC (SCO), PK-35 Vantaa (FIN)*,  WFC Osijek (CRO), FC Noroc Nimoreni (MDA)