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Women's Champions League preview: Arsenal vs Hoffenheim

Arsenal, beaten by Barcelona, face a Hoffenheim side who shone last week.

Hoffenheim made an impressive start last Tuesday
Hoffenheim made an impressive start last Tuesday Getty Images

Arsenal, winners of this competition in 2006/07, will aim to get their Group C campaign back on track against table-toppers Hoffenheim.

• Jonas Eidevall's Gunners suffered at the hands of reigning champions Barcelona on Matchday 1, who ran out 4-1 winners. The losing margin would have been heavier were it not for Manuela Zinsberger's penalty save in added time.

• The North Londoners are the only side in this season's inaugural group stage to have competed in the first edition of the UEFA Women's Cup, the previous incarnation of this tournament, and come up against European debutants Hoffenheim.

• The UEFA competition newcomers enjoyed the biggest victory across the opening round of group stage matches, despatching fellow debutants HB Køge 5-0 with Katharina Naschenweng's opener on 18 minutes the pick of the strikes.

• Die Kraichgauer enjoyed a 76% share of possession in their emphatic Matchday 1 success – the highest figure across the opening round of the games in the inaugural group stage. The German club also fired in 14 attempts on target in that convincing win – no side managed more.

Ones to watch: Arsenal

Manuela Zinsberger
• The goalkeeper made a Matchday 1-high ten saves against Barcelona, including keeping out Alexia Putellas' late penalty.

• The 25-year-old joined the Gunners in May 2019, having spent five seasons with German side Bayern, with whom she won successive Frauen-Bundesliga titles in 2015 and 2016.

• She made her senior debut for SV Neulengbach in her native Austria shortly after her 15th birthday in October 2010.

• The Austrian international kept four clean sheets in five appearances as her nation reached the last four of the UEFA Women's EURO in 2017, stopping spot kicks in the shoot-outs against Spain and Denmark.

Kim Little
• The 31-year-old, who first joined the Gunners aged 17, scored her 150th goal for the club earlier this month.

• The former Scottish international has a rich goalscoring history in this competition, with a penalty in each leg of the qualifying tie against Slavia Praha propelling her back into the competition's top ten scorers with a total of 39 goals. She has the retired Hanna Ljungberg, Nina Burger and Lotta Schelin in her sights immediately above her in the rankings.

• The Arsenal skipper returned to the north London outfit four years ago, having had spells with American club Seattle Reign and a loan move with Australian W-League side Melbourne City after leaving Arsenal in 2013.

• The midfielder, who has won a total of 13 major honours across her two spells with Arsenal, made her UEFA Women's Champions League bow at the tender age of 16, with first club Hibernian.

Frida Maanum
• The midfielder scored Arsenal's first ever UEFA Women's Champions League group stage goal, prodding in from close range in the 4-1 Matchday 1 defeat away to Barcelona to register her first strike for the club.

• The 22-year-old joined the Gunners in July from Swedish side Linköping, where she won the 2017 Damallsvenskan title, having started out with Lyn in her native Norway before a brief spell with Stabæk.

• The summer signing has a UEFA Women's Champions League hat-trick to her name, having notched three goals in Linköping's 6-1 round of 32 first-leg win at Kharkiv in September 2018.

• The Norwegian international netted in her country's 1-0 away qualifier win against Wales in October 2020, to book the Grasshoppers' spot at the UEFA Women's EURO in 2022.

Ones to watch: Hoffenheim

Nicole Billa
• The forward mustered five attempts on target in the Matchday 1 win against HB Køge – more than any other player across the first ever round of group fixtures – scoring the club's second goal in their 5-0 win.

• The 25-year-old striker hit 23 goals in the Frauen-Bundesliga last term, finishing as the division's top scorer with six more than her nearest rival.

• Last term was the third time she ended a campaign as a league's top scorer having managed 24 and 27 in her final two seasons with St. Pölten.

• The Austrian international is in her seventh campaign with Hoffenheim, having joined from St. Pölten, where she won the ÖFB-Frauenliga in 2014/15.

Tine De Caigny
• The 24-year-old, who scored twice in the 5-0 success against HB Køge, was one of two players to find the net more than once in the opening round of group stage matches, along with Wolfsburg's Tabea Wassmuth.

• The forward joined Die Kraichgauer ahead of 2021/22 from Anderlecht, where she won the Belgian Women's Super League titles in each of her four full seasons.

• The striker was a regular scorer in UEFA Women's Champions League qualifying for both the Belgian side and her current club, hitting 11 goals in 14 appearances before Matchday 1 including five in Anderlecht's 10-0 defeat of Georgia's Martve in August 2018, and a hat-trick against PAOK of Greece the following year.

• The Belgian international finished as top scorer in qualifying for the 2022 UEFA Women's EURO, scoring 12 goals.

Katharina Naschenweng
• The 23-year-old was named Player of the Match in the 5-0 Matchday 1 success against HB Køge, opening the scoring with an impressive strike.

• The defender, who joined from Sturm Graz in June 2018, made 21 league starts last term, with no Hoffenheim player making more.

• The Austrian international was ruled out for over a year with a cruciate ligament injury sustained in training shortly after moving to Hoffenheim.

Key stats

• Arsenal have won eight of their last ten UEFA Women's Champions League home games (W8 L2), winning the last three without conceding a goal

• Arsenal have lost three of their last four home UEFA Women's Champions League matches against German opposition.

• Arsenal have won just two of their previous ten UEFA Women's Champions League matches against German opposition (D1 L7).

• The last time Arsenal drew a UEFA Women's Champions League match was in November 2011 against Rayo Vallecano (1-1); this is their 30th match since then.

• Arsenal have not failed to score in their last ten UEFA Women's Champions League matches, hitting 35 goals in that sequence.

• Arsenal's Jennifer Beattie has played 49 games in UEFA club competition.

• Hoffenheim have won four and drawn one of their five European matches this season.

• Hoffenheim have scored 11 goals in their last three European matches.

• Hoffenheim have kept a clean sheet in four of their five European matches in 2021/22.