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Women's Champions League preview: HB Køge vs Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim must come away from Denmark with a win to have any chance while the home side seek first points.

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Hoffenheim travel to Denmark to face Group C's bottom side HB Køge seeking a win that might keep alive their chances of a quarter-final place.

• Die Kraichgauer have lost their last three matches in the section – conceding 13 goals – since their 5-0 Matchday 1 win against HB Køge.

• The Frauen-Bundesliga outfit, who must win and hope Arsenal lose at home to holders Barcelona to stay in contention, prevailed against their Danish opponents on 5 October thanks to strikes from Katharina Naschenweng (18), Nicole Billa (47), Luana Bühler (61) and Tina De Caigny (63, 90+2).

• Fellow European debutants HB Køge are unable to finish in the top two in Group C, and are one of two clubs to have lost all four group games, along with Servette in Group A. The Danish side have conceded 15 goals, fewer only than Servette (16) across all four groups.

Ones to watch: HB Køge

Kyra Carusa
• The 26-year-old attacker has managed the most goals attempts for the Swans in Group C (four), and has started all six of their matches this term including qualifiers.

• The California-born striker was named in the Elitedivisionen Team of the Season for 2020/21 having topped the league's scoring charts.

• Carusa joined HB Køge in February 2020 having previously been on the books of French side Le Havre, and was named captain in summer 2021.

• Having qualified for the Republic of Ireland via her grandparents, Carusa featured in both FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers in November and scored her first international goal in the 11-0 home win against Georgia on 30 November.

Kaylan Marckese
• The 23-year-old has been the busiest goalkeeper in the group stage, making a total of 30 saves.

• Marckese kept out a Nikita Parris penalty against Arsenal on 10 November, one of just three spot-kick stops in the group fixtures to date.

• The keeper made nine saves on Matchday 1, with only Arsenal's Manuela Zinsberger (ten) making more across the first round of group fixtures.

• Born in Florida, Marckese joined the Swans in February 2021, having previously been on the books of Icelandic outfit Selfoss and NWSL side Sky Blue in the United States.

Maddie Pokorny
• The 24-year-old has had two attempts on target in the first four games, more than any other HB Køge player.

• The forward scored her side's first group goal in the 5-1 Matchday 3 home loss to Arsenal, applying a cool finish after pouncing on an under-hit back pass.

• Pokorny ended last term's title-winning campaign with eight league goals, behind only Carusa in HB Køge's scoring charts.

• The American joined the Swans in summer 2020, following a spell with National Women's Soccer League side Chicago Red Stars.

Ones to watch: Hoffenheim

Nicole Billa
• The 25-year-old struck Hoffenheim's second goal against HB Køge on Matchday 1.

• The striker has not registered since, but has fired in the most attempts for Die Kraichgauer so far in this group stage: seven, five of which have been on target.

• Billa scored 23 goals in the Frauen-Bundesliga last term, finishing as the division's top scorer with six more than her nearest challenger.

• The Austrian international started both of her country's recent FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers, scoring twice in the 8-0 away win against Luxembourg on 30 November.

Tine De Caigny
• The 24-year-old is Hoffenheim's top European scorer this term with three goals, including one in qualifying.

• De Caigny has found the net with her only two efforts on target in the group stage – striking twice on Matchday 1 against HB Køge.

• 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.

• Top scorer in qualifying for the 2022 UEFA Women's EURO with 12 goals, De Caigny struck four times in Belgium's two recent FIFA Women's World Cup matches including a hat-trick in the victory against Armenia on 25 November.

Michaela Specht
• The 24-year-old is the only outfield player to feature in every minute of Hoffenheim's four Group C matches.

• The defender is in her seventh season with Die Kraichgauer having joined from Bayern, where she won an Under-17 league title.

• Specht made her 100th Hoffenheim appearance in all competitions as they were eliminated from the DFB-Pokal on penalties against Leverkusen on 31 October.

• Part of the victorious Germany side at the 2013/14 UEFA Women's European Under-17 Championship in England.

Key stats

• Since scoring five times against HB Køge on Matchday 1, Hoffenheim have lost their last three Group C matches without scoring, conceding 13 goals.

• There has been a total of 24 goals in Hoffenheim's last five Group C matches at an average of 4.8 per game.