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Women's Champions League preview: Real Madrid vs WFC Kharkiv

Real Madrid end a successful group campaign as they face third-place finishers Kharkiv.

Madrid hope for a repeat win against Kharkiv
Madrid hope for a repeat win against Kharkiv DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Real Madrid, who sealed their quarter-final spot as Group B runners-up with their victory on Matchday 5, take on WFC Kharkiv, whose last-eight hopes were ended by that win.

• The Spanish side had Lorena Navarro to thank for their narrow 1-0 Matchday 1 victory against the Ukrainian outfit, her strike from close range just after the half-hour mark the difference. Despite enjoying 70% possession in Kharkiv, the Primera División outfit side were unable to extend their lead, with Navarro, Athenea del Castillo and Caroline Møller all spurning opportunities to add to their tally.

• The visitors secured their first Group B victory in their last away fixture, winning 2-0 against Breidablik thanks to strikes from Yuliia Shevchuk (42) – her side's maiden group stage goal – and Olha Ovdiychuk (74).

Ones to watch: Real Madrid

Kosovare Asllani
• The 32-year-old scored twice in the 3-0 Matchday 5 win against Breidablik, her first appearance in this group stage after a knee injury.

• The forward also struck her first league goal of the season on 12 December in a 3-1 Clásico defeat against Barcelona.

• Asllani was Madrid's leading scorer in the Primera División last term with 16 goals.

• The Swedish international was a UEFA Women's Champions League runner-up with Paris Saint-Germain in 2014/15, playing in the 2-1 final loss to Frankfurt in Berlin.

Caroline Møller
• Møller – who celebrates her 23rd birthday on 19 December – scored a hat-trick in the 5-0 success against Breidablik on Matchday 2, her first start in the competition for Real Madrid.

• The forward has managed eight attempts on target in the group stage so far, with only four players having more.

• Møller joined Real Madrid in August this year after a season with Serie A side Inter; that followed a successful spell in her homeland at Fortuna, with whom she reached the UEFA Women's Champions quarter-finals in 2016/17.

• A substitute in both of Denmark's November FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers, victories against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Russia.

Lorena Navarro
• The 21-year-old scored the only goal of the Matchday 1 success against Kharkiv, earning her the Player of the Match award.

• Navarro was one of six players to score in the opening two matchdays, hitting a late strike in the 5-0 win against Breidablik on 13 October.

• The forward joined CD Tacón, now Real Madrid, from Madrid CFF in 2016, and extended her contract until 2023 last summer.

• A UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship winner with Spain in 2015, she finished top scorer at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Jordan having shared the same prize at the Women's U17 EURO earlier that year.

Ones to watch: Kharkiv

Olha Ovdiychuk
• The 27-year-old provided an assist and a deft finish – voted the Goal of the Week – in the 2-0 Matchday 4 success at Breidablik.

• The forward is Kharkiv's leading European scorer this term on six goals, having struck in all four qualifiers.

• Ovdiychuk clinched her seventh Ukrainian title with Kharkiv in 2020/21, to go with the six she collected in the space of seven years before leaving to play in the Primera División in 2019.

• The Ukrainian international has been the top scorer in the Ukrainian Women's League on four occasions, the last when she hit 30 goals in 2018/19.

Yuliia Shevchuk
• The 23-year-old scored Kharkiv's first Group B goal at Breidablik on Matchday 4, her neat finish also the 100th strike of the inaugural group stage.

• The midfielder has started all nine of her side's European matches this term, including qualifying, and opened the scoring in their qualifying campaign in the 5-1 Round 1 success against NSA of Bulgaria.

• Shevchuk has been with Kharkiv since 2016, having joined from WFC Rodyna Kostopil.

• The Ukrainian international featured in both of their recent FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers, starting the 4-2 defeat in Hungary on 30 November having come on in the 1-1 draw in Scotland four days earlier.

Lyubov Shmatko
• Shmatko has played every minute of Kharkiv's UEFA Women's Champions League campaign this term, qualifiers included.

• The 28-year-old scored twice in this season's qualifying rounds, in victories against NSA and ŽNK Pomurje.

• The defender returned to the Ukrainian Women's League earlier this year following a spell with ZFK Minsk of Belarus.

• Shmatko has won league titles in both her native Ukraine, with first club Legenda Chernigiv, and in Belarus.

Key stats

• Madrid have won four of their last six UEFA Women’s Champions League matches, keeping four clean sheets in that run.

• Kharkiv have failed to score in four of their last five UEFA Women's Champions League games.