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UEFA Women's Champions League: What to look out for on Matchday 1

The inaugural group stage continues on Wednesday; here's a taste of what lies ahead.

Millie Bright and Sam Kerr of Chelsea in training on Tuesday
Millie Bright and Sam Kerr of Chelsea in training on Tuesday Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Twenty years on from the first-ever matches in the inaugural UEFA Women's Cup of 2001/02, the successor UEFA Women's Champions League takes another big step forward on as the new group stage begins.

Playing home and away until mid-December, and broadcast live across the world by DAZN/YouTube, the 16 competing clubs will be under the spotlight like never before. UEFA.com picks out some of the big games on Wednesday.

All kick-off times CET

Group A: Servette vs Juventus (18:45), Chelsea vs Wolfsburg (21:00)
Group B: WFC Kharkiv vs Real Madrid (18:45), Breidablik vs Paris Saint-Germain (21:00)

What to look out for

Looks familiar for Chelsea and Wolfsburg
Chelsea's first three European campaigns, between 2015/16 and 2017/18, were all curtailed at different stages by two-time champions Wolfsburg. However, they got their revenge last spring in the quarter-finals with 2-1 and 3-0 wins in a tie where both legs were played in Budapest and contained a goal from Pernille Harder, who had left Wolfsburg for Chelsea just after the 2020 final. Now the clubs' ninth meeting will make this the most-played fixture in competition history, one ahead of Wolfsburg vs Lyon (whose eight encounters include three one-off finals). With Chelsea having reached a first final last season and Wolfsburg aiming to put a rare disappointing campaign behind them under new coach Tommy Stroot, this is a collision of two sides with justifiable ambitions of success in Turin next May. However, Wolfsburg will be without key striker Ewa Pajor, who was badly missed during her injury absence last season and has been ruled out again for several months.

New faces

• Real Madrid, in their second season under that name, beat Manchester City in their very first European tie and take on a WFC Kharkiv team and a squad including Daryna Apanaschenko, who actually played in the very first UEFA Women's Cup of 2001/002 for Legenda Chernigov.

• Also making history, as they take on last season's semi-finalists Paris, are Breidablik, the first team from Iceland to make a major men's or women's UEFA club group stage.

Key dates

Group stage
Matchday 1: 5/6 October
Matchday 2: 13/14 October
Matchday 3: 9/10 November
Matchday 4: 17/18 November
Matchday 5: 8/9 December
Matchday 6: 15/16 December

Women's Champions League to revolutionise game
Women's Champions League to revolutionise game

Quarter-final & semi-final draw
20 December

Quarter-finals
First leg: 22/23 March
Second leg: 30/31 March

Semi-finals
First leg: 23/24 April
Second leg: 30 April/1 May

Final (Juventus Stadium, Turin)
Date tbc