Women's Champions League knockouts begin

Olympique Lyonnais begin their title defence, 1. FFC Frankfurt have a tricky trip to Norway and the likes of Paris Saint-Germain FC make debuts when the round of 32 starts from Tuesday.

Lyon took the trophy to France in May
Lyon took the trophy to France in May ©Sportsfile

Holders Olympique Lyonnais and three former title holders are in action when the UEFA Women's Champions League knockout phase begins with the round of 32 from Tuesday.

The 22 top ranked entrants, including Lyon and past winners 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, 1. FFC Frankfurt and Arsenal LFC, have been joined by ten preliminary round qualifiers with the first legs being played between Tuesday and Thursday and the returns the following week. Lyon, who gained revenge on Potsdam for their 2010 final defeat last May in London, launch their campaign on Wednesday away to preliminary round qualifiers CFF Olimpia Cluj, one of ten teams in their first campaign who remain in the competition.

Frankfurt, the sole three-time European champions and ending a two-season exile from continental competition, face a tough trip to Norwegian title holders Stabæk Football while Potsdam go to Icelandic newcomers Thór/KA. Arsenal, who have already booked their 2012/13 place as English champions, are in Belarus to take on FC Bobruichanka in one of four Thursday games.

Other ties catching the eye include the meeting of the first Irish side to get this far, Peamount United, with ambitious debutants Paris Saint-Germain FC and, in a Thursday fixture, Italian newcomers UPC Tavagnacco tackling WFC Malmö, who are aiming to keep up Sweden's fine tradition having reached the semi-finals on their only previous tournament appearance in 2003/04. In Tuesday's two matches, former semi-finalists Brøndby IF visit Standard Fémina de Liège and ASA Tel-Aviv FC play ASD Torres CF.

The round of 16, for which the draw has been made, takes place on 2/3 and 9/10 November. The quarter-finals and semi-finals are played over two legs in the spring, leading to the final in Munich on 17 May.


Round of 16 draw