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Women's Champions League preview: Arsenal vs Barcelona

A big crowd at Arsenal's main stadium will hope to see them get the point they need to join Barcelona in the last eight.

Getty Images

Arsenal require a point to reach their UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals as they welcome Group C leaders Barcelona, who will be aiming to clinch top spot in the section.

• The Gunners, who will go through if they avoid defeat or if Hoffenheim do not win at bottom side HB Køge, are one of five sides to have won both home matches so far.

• Arsenal are one of three clubs on 13 group goals, behind only Barcelona, who have 15.

• Jonas Eidevall's Barcelona are also among three teams yet to concede at home along with Paris and Bayern.

• Arsenal are aiming to extend their record of 13 quarter-final appearances in this competition, one more than Lyon.

• Barcelona are through to the knockout stage following their 5-0 win in Hoffenheim on Matchday 4, and will be confirmed in first place in Group C if they avoid defeat on Matchday 5.

• The Blaugranes have had an average of 68.5% possession – the highest in the group stage – in their first four games and had 130 attempts, with Paris Saint-Germain second on 83 efforts.

• The Spanish side have not conceded in their last three Group C games, since Frida Maanum's consolation in the 4-1 win against Arsenal on Matchday 1. Mariona Caldentey (31) and Alexia Putellas (42) set the hosts on their way, with Asisat Oshoala (47) adding a third. The Gunners responded through Maanum (74), before Lieke Martens' clinical 84th-minute finish restored Barça’s three-goal advantage. Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger kept out a Putellas penalty in added time.

Ones to watch: Arsenal

Frida Maanum
• The midfielder prodded in from close range at Barcelona on Matchday 1, her first Arsenal goal and the club's first in the group stage.

• The 22-year-old has featured in all eight of the Gunners' European matches this season, qualifiers included.

• A summer signing from Linköping, Maanum has a UEFA Women's Champions League hat-trick to her name, in the Swedish side's 6-1 win at WFC Kharkiv in the round of 32 first leg in September 2018.

• The Norwegian international scored three goals across their two recent FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers, two in the win in Albania and another in the victory in Armenia.

Beth Mead
• The 26-year-old set up two of Arsenal's three goals in the 3-0 home win against HB Køge last time out to take her group tally to three assists – the joint most of any player, along with Chelsea's Fran Kirby and Lena Oberdorf of Wolfsburg.

• The attacker is yet to score in Group C but struck once in qualifying this term – in the 4-0 Round 1 semi-final victory against Okzhetpes on 18 August.

• Mead scored the Gunners' equaliser in the eventual 2-1 quarter-final defeat in this competition against Paris back in August 2020.

• The English international, fresh from becoming the first woman to score a hat-trick at Wembley in the 4-0 victory against Northern Ireland on 23 October, struck three more goals for the Lionesses in their recent FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying success against Latvia.

Vivianne Miedema
• The forward has had nine attempts on target so far, the joint highest total along with Wolfsburg's Tabea Wassmuth.

• The 25-year-old is among three players to have scored in both their side's home fixtures in this inaugural group stage along with Barcelona's Putellas and Chelsea's Sam Kerr, the 4-0 Matchday 2 victory against Hoffenheim and the 3-0 success against HB Køge last time out.

• Miedema struck in all three of Arsenal's qualifying fixtures, her hat-trick in the 4-0 Round 2 qualifying, second-leg victory at Slavia Praha on 9 September bringing up a century of goals for the north London club.

• The Dutch international has finished as the joint top scorer in two UEFA Women's Champions League campaigns, hitting eight with Bayern München in 2016/17 and ten for Arsenal two seasons ago.

Ones to watch: Barcelona

Mariona Caldentey
• The 25-year-old scored the opener and also provided an assist in the 4-1 success against Arsenal on 5 October, and was named Player of the Match.

• The forward has found the net in three of her last four UEFA Women's Champions League starts.

• Caldentey is in her eighth season with Barcelona and extended her contract until 2024 last month.

• The Spanish international scored in both of her country's November FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers, hitting four goals including three in the win against the Faroe Islands on 25 November.

Jenni Hermoso
• The 31-year-old made her 50th appearance in UEFA club competition in the 5-0 victory against Hoffenheim on Matchday 4 but failed to add to her goal total having scored in the Blaugranes' two previous Group C outings.

• The forward has scored eight goals in her last ten European appearances, including a round of 16 hat-trick against Fortuna Hjørring last term.

• Hermoso scored four goals in Barcelona's 10-1 Primera División win at Sevilla on 20 November.

• 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 and at the end of August was named the competition's Forward of the Season.

Alexia Putellas
• The Barcelona skipper extended her current UEFA Women's Champions League scoring streak to four matches last time out, her five goals in that time including one against Arsenal on Matchday 1 in which she also had a penalty saved.

• Putellas capped a stellar year by winning the Ballon d'Or Féminin award on 29 November; she had already been namted the UEFA Women's Player of the Year and the UEFA Women's Champions League's Midfielder of the Season for 2020/21.

• The Spanish international scored in both November's FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers, in the victories against the Faroe Islands and Scotland.

Key stats

• Arsenal have won 11 of their last 13 UEFA Women's Champions League matches (W11 L2).

• The London club have won their last five home European matches without conceding, scoring 20 goals themselves.

• Arsenal have won each of their previous four home UEFA Women's Champions League matches against Spanish clubs, includes a 4-0 victory against Barcelona in October 2012.

• Arsenal have scored three or more goals in 11 of their last 13 UEFA Women's Champions League matches.

• The last time Arsenal drew a UEFA Women's Champions League match was in November 2011 against Rayo Vallecano (1-1); this is their 33rd match since then.

• Barcelona have won 23 of their last 27 UEFA Women's Champions League matches (D1 L3).

• The Catalans have failed to score in just one of their last 28 UEFA Women's Champions League matches and have hit four or more goals in eight of the last 13.

• Barcelona have conceded more than one goal in just two of their last 27 European matches.