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

Arsenal welcoming Barcelona and Benfica looking to upset Lyon are among the highlights.

UEFA

More teams could be into the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals after Thursday's fixtures.

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

All kick-off times CET, click on links to watch live streams

Group C: HB Køge vs Hoffenheim (18:45), Arsenal vs Barcelona (20:00)
Group D
: Häcken vs Bayern München (18:45), Benfica vs Lyon (21:00)

Who is through, who needs what to join them?

What to look out for

Arsenal's step forward
The visit of holders Barcelona was always going to be a big occasion for Arsenal, and they have increased the stakes by moving the game to the men's stadium. With group crowds this season of 18,344 at Parc des Princes and 16,761 at Juventus Stadium, similar moves have been justified and, on advance sales alone, Arsenal at least should smash their own European home best of 3,467 at their usual Meadow Park base for the second leg of their 2007 final triumph – not to mention the 662 that watched them dispatch Barcelona 4-0 on the Blaugrana's first-ever away trip in this competition in October 2012.

Already with a record 13 quarter-final appearances to their name, Arsenal – aiming for a quick recovery from their Wembley disappointment at the hands of Chelsea on Sunday – are one point away from making it 14 and joining Barcelona in the last eight, and have something to prove after the 4-1 reverse at Estadi Johann Cruyff on Matchday 1. The game will also match a couple of recent award winners, with Ballon d'Or victor Alexia Putellas up against Vivianne Miedema, on the same day named BBC Women's Footballer of the Year (each among the nominees for the other prize).

Benfica hitting new heights
When Benfica announced the formation of a women's section on 12 December 2017, Lyon were already four-time European champions and on their way to a fifth triumph before the Eagles had even played their debut match in Portugal's second tie. Benfica's rise has been swift, already in their second European season and, the lowest ranked of the 16 contenders, sitting third in Group D having drawn at home to Bayern and last time out won away at Häcken.

They did lose 5-0 to Lyon on Matchday 2 but Benfica go into this game knowing another, even bigger, upset could keep them in contention ahead of their closing trip to Munich. In fact, they might now have been level with Bayern had the German contenders not defeated Lyon 1-0 last time out, a result that means OL still require a result in Portugal to ensure progress.

Highlights: Bayern 1-0 Lyon
Highlights: Bayern 1-0 Lyon

Key dates

Groop stage matchday 6
15/16 December

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