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Women's Champions League preview: Wolfsburg vs Chelsea

Either two-time champions Wolfsburg or 2021 runners-up Chelsea could be out after their Group A decider.

Pernille Harder's late equaliser denied her former club Wolfsburg in London
Pernille Harder's late equaliser denied her former club Wolfsburg in London PA Images via Getty Images

Chelsea can secure passage into the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals if they avoid defeat in Wolfsburg, who themselves are eyeing up a last-eight place.

• Emma Hayes' Chelsea have a three-point cushion at the top of Group A, and will go through and be confirmed in first place if they avoid defeat. They will finish second if they lose and Juventus do not beat Servette.

• Wolfsburg will go through if they beat Chelsea and Juventus do not win, or if they draw and Juventus lose. If both Wolfsburg and Juventus win, the final ranking of the three teams would depend on the outcome of the Wolfsburg-Chelsea match.

• The Blues staged a dramatic comeback against Die Wölfinnen on Matchday 1, taking the lead through Sam Kerr (12) before falling 3-1 behind after goals from Tabea Wassmuth (18, 48) and Jill Roord (34). The Londoners fought back thanks to Bethany England (51) and Pernille Harder's equaliser – against her former club – in added time.

Ones to watch: Wolfsburg

Lena Oberdorf
• The 19-year-old – who turns 20 on 19 December – has supplied three assists in the group stage, the highest total, including two against Chelsea on Matchday 1.

• The midfielder played every minute of Wolfsburg's opening four Group A matches, but was suspended for the Matchday 5 win against Servette.

• Oberdorf scored 12 goals in all competitions in 2020/21 and was Wolfsburg's second top scorer behind Zsanett Jakabfi (17).

• The Germany international is in her second campaign with Wolfsburg having joined from first club Essen in 2020, and was part of the side that lifted the DFB-Pokal Frauen last season.

Jill Roord
• The 24-year-old midfielder ended a three-game goalless run in this competition with the second in the 3-0 Matchday 5 win at Servette, also claiming the Player of the Match award.

• Roord is Wolfsburg's leading scorer in the Frauen-Bundesliga this term with six goals – including one in the 5-0 victory over Carl Zeiss Jena on 5 December – and is one of only two players to have started all of Die Wölfinnen's league matches, along with compatriot Dominique Janssen.

• The Dutch international won the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship in 2014, and added the senior title three years later.

Tabea Wassmuth
• The 25-year-old is the leading scorer in this UEFA Women's Champions League group stage with six goals, including two against Chelsea on Matchday 1.

• The attacking midfielder has found the net in four of her five group appearances this term, only drawing a blank in the 2-0 defeat against Juventus on Matchday 4.

• Wassmuth has also had 13 attempts on target across the first five rounds of group stage fixtures, more than any other player.

• The Germany international came through the youth ranks at Hoffenheim before joining Die Wölfinnen ahead of this campaign, with the deal announced in January of this year.

Ones to watch: Chelsea

Pernille Harder
• The 29-year-old scored in the Blues' first two Group A matches, including the last-gasp equaliser against her former side Wolfsburg on Matchday 1.

• The forward returned from injury to start Matchday 5's goalless draw against Juventus on 8 December.

• The Danish international has scored five goals in her last eight UEFA Women's Champions League appearances.

• Harder is a three-time UEFA Women's Champions League runner-up, having been a beaten finalist with Wolfsburg in 2018 and 2020 and Chelsea last season, and was the competition's top scorer with eight goals in 2018/19.

Fran Kirby
• The 28-year-old has scored two goals and set up three in her last three UEFA Women's Champions League appearances, and is the joint-leading assist provider in rhe group stage on three.

• The forward netted her 100th Chelsea goal with her second in the 5-0 Women's Super League win against Birmingham on 21 November.

• Kirby became the Blues' all-time leading goalscorer in December 2020 with two goals in the 5-0 success against Benfica in this competition.

• The English international was joint top scorer in last season's UEFA Women's Champions League with six goals, level with Barcelona's Jenni Hermoso.

Sam Kerr
• The 28-year-old's lob in the 3-3 draw against Wolfsburg on 6 October was voted the Matchday 1 Goal of the Week.

• Kerr has hit four goals so far in this group stage and is only trailing Wolfsburg's Wassmuth (six) in the race to be top scorer.

• The forward scored twice in the Blues' 3-0 FA Cup final victory against Arsenal at Wembley on 5 December, helping her side claim a domestic treble for 2020/21 in the delayed final.

• The forward scored her hat-trick this season in the space of 26 first-half minutes in a 5-0 Women's Super League win against Birmingham on 21 November, also supplying an assist for strike partner Kirby's second of the game.

Key stats

• Wolfsburg have lost only two of their last 27 matches in all competitions and have won nine of the last ten at home, scoring three or more goals in all but one of those ten games.

• The German club have scored two or more goals in six of their seven UEFA Women's Champions League matches this season.

• Chelsea won each of their previous two UEFA Women's Champions League away games this season (F9 A1) and have lost only two of their last 15 (W9 D4) in the competition.

• The London outfit have scored three goals in their last two UEFA Women's Champions League matches against Wolfsburg.

• Chelsea have conceded a total of just two goals in their last 11 matches in all competitions and have kept three successive clean sheets in the UEFA Women's Champions League.