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Women's Champions League preview: Häcken vs Bayern

Häcken face a must-win encounter against a Bayern side who could book progress with the right result in Sweden.

DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Häcken face last season's UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-finalists Bayern needing to win to stand any chance of reaching the last eight.

• The Swedish side were overtaken in the Group D standings by Benfica after the Portuguese outfit won in Gotenburg on Matchday 4 courtesy of an added-time goal.

• That result, coupled with Bayern's surprise success against Lyon, means Häcken are fourth in the standings on three points, four behind second-placed Bayern, and will be unable to finish in the top two if they do not win on Matchday 5.

• Bayern, three points ahead of third-placed Benfica, were 4-0 winners at home to their Swedish rivals on Matchday 2, Lea Schüller's quickfire putting the German club two goals up before Linda Dallmann (70) and Jovana Damnjanović (90+1) added further strikes.

• Bayern, one of six sides in this inaugural group stage without an away victory, will go through if they win and Benfica are not victorious at home to Lyon, or if they draw and Benfica lose.

Ones to watch: Häcken

Stina Blackstenius
• The 25-year-old striker was an unused substitute for the 2-1 Matchday 4 loss to Benfica due to injury.

• Despite her absence last time out, Blackstenius has had seven attempts on goal in the group stage – no Häcken player has managed more.

• The forward scord her third league hat-trick of the term in the 4-0 home victory against Djurgården on 31 October; she ended the season as the Damallsvenskan's top scorer on 17 goals, three clear of her nearest rival.

• The Swedish international spent two years in France with Montpellier (2017–19), finishing as runners-up in Division 1 Féminine behind Lyon in her first campaign. She returned to Linköpings for a second spell in 2019 before joining Häcken in 2020.

Filippa Curmark
• The 26-year-old has attempted 17 tackles in the group stage; only Servette's Amandine Soulard (24) has made more.

• The midfielder, who has been with Häcken since 2015, is also in the top three players for ball recoveries across this group campaign on 33, behind only Lyon's Kadeisha Buchanan (44) and Juventus' Lisa Boattin (36).

• Curmark was the only player to start all of Häcken's 22 league matches in 2021.

• The Swedish international made her first appearances of this FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying campaign with their November fixtures, featuring in home victories against Finland and Slovakia.

Elin Rubensson
• The 28-year-old has scored both the Getingarna's goals in Group D, a pair of spot kicks against Benfica.

• The midfielder has started all of Häcken's six European matches this season, playing every minute of the four group stage games.

• Rubensson joined Häcken in December 2014 from first club Rosengård, where she won four league titles.

• The Swedish international reached the last eight of this competition in successive seasons with her former club – then known as LdB Malmö – in 2011/12 and 2012/13.

Ones to watch: Bayern

Linda Dallman
• The 27-year-old has scored four times in her last six starts in this competition, including one against Häcken on Matchday 2.

• The midfielder struck three goals in last season's UEFA Women’s Champions League knockout stages to help Bayern reach the semi-finals, only Sydney Lohmann scoring more for the club in the competition in 2020/21.

• Dallman is in her third season with Bayern having spent eight campaigns with Essen, where she made over 150 league appearances and was a DFB Pokal finalist in 2014.

• The German international, who won the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup with her nation back in 2014, was a half-time replacement in an 8-0 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying home win against Turkey on 26 November.

Saki Kumagai
• The 31-year-old scored her first European goal for Bayern in the Matchday 4 victory against former side Lyon.

• The midfielder, who can also play in defence, has featured in every minute of this group stage along with Bayern team-mates Giulia Gwinn and goalkeeper Laura Benkarth.

• Kumagai joined the Bavarian outfit in May following eight years with Lyon, where she clinched the league title in her first seven seasons.

• The Japanese international won five UEFA Women's Champions Leagues during her career with Les Fenottes, converting her spot kicks in final shoot-out wins in 2016 and 2017.

Lea Schüller
• The 24-year-old scored twice in the opening 11 minutes of the 4-0 Matchday 2 defeat of Häcken.

• Those are the forward's only goals in her last six European appearances; she had scored three in her previous four matches.

• Schüller was the Bavarians' leading scorer in last season's Frauen-Bundesliga, her 16 goals including three in a 7-0 defeat of Werder Bremen in February.

• The Germany international scored four goals across their two recent FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers, including a hat-trick in the 8-0 success against Turkey on 26 November.

Key stats

• Häcken lost their previous two home matches in Group D.

• Elin Rubensson has scored in Häcken's last two UEFA Women's Champions League matches.

• Bayern have lost only two of their last 12 European matches (W9 D1).

• The Bavarians have kept seven clean sheets in their last 11 UEFA Women's Champions League matches.

• Bayern have only failed to score in one of their last 15 European games.