Holders Barcelona face familiar opposition in the first leg of their quarter-final as Real Madrid attempt to break their hoodoo against their rivals.
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Real Madrid will look to break their hoodoo against Barcelona as the Liga rivals meet in the first leg of their UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.
Barcelona would be formidable opponents for Madrid even if it wasn't for the fact that they have lost all five competitive meetings with the Blaugrana since completing their merger with CD Tacón in 2020. But Barcelona, looking to retain the title they claimed for the first time last season, have won all 34 of their competitive games this season, scoring 174 goals and conceding just eight. In fact, a 5-0 win against Madrid on 13 March ensured Barcelona retained the Spanish title with six games to spare. Lieke Martens, Asisat Oshoala and Mariona Caldentey are ruled out through injury.
Madrid, though, have rather taken to this competition in their debut season. They upset Manchester City in round two to reach the group stage, which they cruised through despite a pair of losses to Paris Saint-Germain. No newcomers had previously made it to the last eight since City themselves in 2016/17. However, Madrid will need a decent home result, well aware that next Wednesday's second leg will likely be in front of a world-record women's club football crowd at the Camp Nou. Key forward Kosovare Asllani and Marta Cardona are both out.
In: Carla Camacho, Sofie Svava
Out: Maria Pichi
Out: Andrea Falcón
Real Madrid: Misa; Lucia Rodríguez, Peter, Rocio Gálvez, Svava; Teresa Abelleira, Zornoza; Athenea del Castillo, Maite Oroz, Olga Carmona; Esther
Barcelona: Paños; Marta Torrejón, Andrea Pereira, Mapi León, Ouahabi; Bonmatí, Guijarro, Alexia; Graham Hansen, Hermoso, Rolfö
View from the camps
Alberto Toril, Madrid coach: “This is a new opportunity to catch them up. We have to take steps forward and look for their weak points and approach the match as we want to. It's a 180-minute game. We will try to make them uncomfortable, we will have to be united and make sure they create fewer chances. We will take advantage of the space that they sometimes leave in defensive transitions”
Jonatan Giráldez, Barcelona coach: "The results speak for themselves when looking at the change that Madrid made with [the November appointment of] Alberto Toril. What he has done is excellent: we saw it first hand in the Super Cup [semi-finals in January, when Barcelona needed a last-gasp Alexia goal to win 1-0]. Preparing for this match requires a lot of effort on our part to know how to hurt them."
Lucía Rodríguez, Madrid defender: "We know just how good Barça and Alexia are. We have played against them several times and we know what to do so that they are less effective."
Aitana Bonmatí, Barcelona forward: "Clásicos are extra-special. The objective is to win and get a good result. And the long-term challenge must be to advance in the Champions League."
Where to watch
Every game in this season's new-look UEFA Women's Champions League from the group stage onwards is broadcast live in most territories on streaming platform DAZN, together with YouTube. The YouTube stream will also be embedded in the UEFA.com MatchCentre and on UEFA.tv for all UEFA Women's Champions League games, with highlights to follow at midnight CET.