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Women's Champions League preview: Hoffenheim vs Barcelona

Holders Barcelona are a point away from the quarter-finals as Hoffenheim look to recover from last week's 4-0 loss.

Barcelona beat Hoffenheim 4-0 last week
Barcelona beat Hoffenheim 4-0 last week SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Barcelona, one of three sides with maximum points from their first three group matches, will be looking for a victory in Hoffenheim as the reigning champions close in on the last eight.

• The Blaugranes were dominant in the Matchday 3 meeting between these sides, with Jennifer Hermoso's early header (5) and an Alexia Putellas double (19, 33) – the first a stunning free-kick – securing a three-goal advantage at the break. Marta Torrejón nodded in the fourth in the 74th minute.

• Barcelona managed 31 attempts, and 12 on target, against Hoffenheim, who were unable to muster a shot of any kind.

• Jonatan Giraldez Costas's Barça have enjoyed the most possession in the group stage so far, averaging 71%, whilst they have had 98 attempts on goal in their first three matches, at least 26 more than any other side.

• Hoffenheim face a defence that has not been breached in Group C since Frida Maanum's 74th-minute goal on Matchday 1, with only Paris Saint-Germain, whoare yet to concede, shipping less goals than Barcelona's one.

• The German hosts will aim to get back to winning ways on home soil, where they beat HB Køge 5-0 on 5 October prior to successive 4-0 away defeats.

• Barcelona will go through if they avoid defeat.

Ones to watch: Hoffenheim

Nicole Billa
• The 25-year-old has had the most attempts for Die Kraichgauer with seven, five of which have been on target.

• The striker scored in Hoffenheim's last home match in this competition, the Matchday 1 victory against HB Køge.

• Billa was also on the scoresheet in the 2-1 Bundesliga defeat of Wolfsburg on 17 October – Hoffenheim's first-ever victory against the two-time UEFA Women's Champions League winners at the 17th attempt.

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

Tine De Caigny
• The 24-year-old is Hoffenheim's top European scorer this season with three goals, her Matchday 1 double adding to one qualifying goal.

• De Caigny was one of two players to score more than once in the opening round of group matches, along with Wolfsburg's Tabea Wassmuth.

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

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

Martina Tufekovic
• The 27-year-old is the only Die Kraichgauer player to feature in every minute of their seven matches in the 2021/22 UEFA Women's Champions League, including qualifying.

• Tufekovic is a product of the Hoffenheim youth set-up and made her debut in the second tier in April 2012.

• The goalkeeper is yet to make her senior debut for Germany, but was called up to the squad as an injury replacement for October's FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers against Israel.

Ones to watch: Barcelona

Jenni Hermoso
• The 31-year-old has made 49 appearances in UEFA club competition, scoring 23 goals.

• The forward has found the net in Barcelona's last two group matches to take her tally in this competition to eight in her last nine appearances, including a round of 16 hat-trick against Fortuna Hjørring last term.

• Hermoso ended 2020/21 as the joint top scorer in the UEFA Women's Champions League, level on six goals with Chelsea's Fran Kirby.

• Although the Spanish international did not get on the scoresheet in the 4-0 final triumph against Chelsea back in May, she did win the penalty that led to the Blaugranes' second goal, and at the end of August she was named the tournament's Forward of the Season for 2020/21.

Alexia Putellas
• The Barcelona skipper has scored in each of her last three appearances in this tournament, four goals in total including one in last season's final win against Chelsea.

• The 27-year-old was one of seven Blaugranes players to feature in all nine matches on their triumphant UEFA Women's Champions League run last season, only María León playing more minutes in the competition for the club in 2020/21.

• In August Putellas was named both UEFA Women's Player of the Year – the first Spaniard to receive the honour – and Midfielder of the Season for 2020/21.

• The Spanish international, who won her fifth Primera División title last term, extended her stay at the club until 2024 on 8 September.

Marta Torrejón
• The 31-year-old scored her seventh UEFA Women's Champions League goal on Matchday 3, nodding in Putellas' 74th-minute cross.

• The defender is the only Blaugranes outfield player to have started all their group matches.

• Torrejón joined Barça in 2013, having started out with Espanyol, and hit 12 goals in all competitions last term.

• The former Spanish international held the record for the most appearances for the women's national side (90) until last month, when she was overtaken by club-mate Putellas.

Key stats

• Hoffenheim have lost their last two UEFA Women's Champions League games without scoring, both 4-0.

• There has been a total of 19 goals in Hoffenheim's last four UEFA Women's Champions League matches at an average of 4.75 per game.

• Barcelona have won three of their last four European matches against German clubs (L1).

• The Catalan outfit have won 22 of their last 26 UEFA Women's Champions League matches (D1 L3).

• Barcelona have failed to score in just one of their last 27 UEFA Women's Champions League matches and have conceded more than one goal in just two of their last 26 games in the competition.