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Women's Champions League preview: Barcelona vs HB Køge

Holders Barcelona aim to complete a perfect group campaign against HB Køge, whose debut entry ends.

HB Køge gave Barcelona a close game in Denmark
HB Køge gave Barcelona a close game in Denmark UEFA via Getty Images

Barcelona, who have already confirmed first place in UEFA Women's Champions League Group C, will be looking to keep up their perfect record against an HB Køge side unable to finish in the top two and still seeking their first point.

• The Elitedivisionen outfit kept the holders at bay for 63 minutes on Matchday 2 – and could even have taken the lead themselves in the opening 30 seconds – before eventually succumbing to Fridolina Rolfö's strike and Jennifer Hermoso's penalty deep in added time.

• The reigning champions are one of two teams to have won all five group games this season, along with Paris – with whom they share the mantle of the top-scoring side on 19 goals.

• The Danish side and Servette are the only club clubs to have lost all their group encounters to date; only the Swiss side have conceded more than HB Køge's 17 goals against.

Ones to watch: Barcelona

Jenni Hermoso
• The 31-year-old converted her spot kick in the fifth minute of added time in the reverse fixture between the clubs back on 14 October.

• Hermoso's double strike against Arsenal on Matchday 5 took her to ten goals in her last 11 appearances in this competition, a run that includes a round of 16 hat-trick against Fortuna Hjørring last term.

• The forward was also in prolific form in her side's recent Primera División win against Sevilla on 20 November, scoring four times in the 10-1 away success, and hit a double in a 4-0 win against Athletic Club on 4 December.

• 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 has scored four goals in as many outings in this season's competition, with only Wolfsburg's Tabea Wassmuth managing more (six).

• The 27-year-old 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.

• Putellas struck a hat-trick in the space of four first-half minutes in the 8-0 Primera División success against Valencia on 25 September.

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

Fridolina Rolfö
• The 28-year-old was named Player of the Match against Arsenal on Matchday 5, capping a fine performance with a superb strike that was voted the Goal of the Week.

• It was her 63rd-minute opener that broke HB Køge's resistance on Matchday 2.

• Rolfö joined the Blaugranes in the summer after a two-year spell at Wolfsburg, with whom she was a UEFA Women's Champions League runner-up in 2019/20 – scoring the winner against her current employers in the semi-final.

• The Swedish international struck in the 2-1 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying win against Finland on 25 November and the 3-0 success against Slovakia five days later.

Ones to watch: HB Køge

Kyra Carusa
• The 26-year-old attacker scored only her side's second goal in the group stage in the 2-1 Matchday 5 defeat by Hoffenheim.

• 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.

• Scored her first goal for the Republic of Ireland in the 11-0 home win against Georgia on 30 November.

Kelly Fitzgerald
• The 27-year-old supplied the pass that led to Carusa's opener against Hoffenheim on 9 December.

• After the Matchday 5 meeting against Hoffenheim she was named the club's Player of the Year for 2021.

• Fitzgerald is yet to open her scoring account in UEFA club competition but has chipped in with four league goals this season.

• The California-born midfielder signed for HB Køge in August 2020, following a spell with NWSL side Utah Royals, having previously represented Danish side Stabæk.

Kaylan Marckese
• Marckese has been the busiest goalkeeper in the group stage so far, making a total of 34 saves.

• The 23-year-old kept out a Nikita Parris penalty against Arsenal on 10 November, one of just three spot-kick stops in the group fixtures to date.

• Marckese has played every minute of HB Køge's seven matches in this competition this term, qualifying included.

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

Key stats

• Barcelona have won each of their last 11 UEFA Women's Champions League matches at Estadi Johan Cruyff, scoring 37 goals and conceding only four.

• The Catalan side have won 24 of their last 28 European matches (D1 L3).

• Barcelona have scored four or more goals in nine of their last 14 UEFA Women's Champions League matches and have failed to score in just one of their last 29 games in the competition.

• Barcelona have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four UEFA Women's Champions League matches and have conceded more than one goal in just two of their last 28 European fixtures.