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What to look out for on Thursday in the Women's Champions League

We preview the action as the groups continue after an exciting first week.

 Jennifer Falk aims to impress for Häcken again as they face Madrid while the stars of Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern face off on Thursday
Jennifer Falk aims to impress for Häcken again as they face Madrid while the stars of Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern face off on Thursday UEFA

The 2023/24 UEFA Women's Champions League group stage continues on Thursday after an exciting first week filled with goals and surprises. We preview the action.

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Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern seek recoveries

Barcelona are in good company in losing a group game at Bayern, as before this season the Munich side had a 100% home record in the competition. But that run came to an end last Wednesday as they let slip a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with Roma, dropping points at home in a group that leaves no margin for error.

Highlights: Bayern 2-2 Roma

Paris Saint-Germain, who looked on course for a fine campaign after seeing off Manchester United in round 2, can attest to that after losing 2-0 at Ajax, supposedly the Group C underdogs. The two-time runners-up did recover from defeat on Matchday 1 last season to progress along with Chelsea, and have twice knocked out Bayern in quarter-finals.

It would be no surprise to see both these teams in the knockout phase for the sixth consecutive season, even after their respective Matchday 1 disappointments. Signings like Paris's Tabitha Chawinga and Bayern's Magdalena Eriksson suggested each had renewed ambition to claim the European title both clubs crave. Those aspirations would seem a long way off for either side if they were to suffer a second group defeat at Stade Jean Bouin on Thursday.

Where to watch: TV/streams

Häcken aim for second surprise

Group C's status as the toughest section was always likely to be strongly contested by Group D, and Matchday 1 underlined that with the tense 2-2 draw between Real Madrid and Chelsea as well as Häcken's superb 2-1 victory at Paris FC. The Swedish side seemed to be the group outsiders but hold the early lead as they welcome Real Madrid to Gothenburg.

Highlights: Paris FC 1-2 Häcken

Häcken suffered three home losses at Hisingen Arena when they were previously in the group stage two years ago, conceding a total of nine goals. In fact, in all three two-legged knockout ties they have played since the start of 2021/22, Häcken have fared better on their travels than at home. If they can end that run on Thursday, however, they will have a great chance of a first quarter-final in more than a decade (having got there twice in their previous guise of Göteborg FC).

The victory in Paris was even more impressive as it came just four days after the heartbreak of being pipped to the Swedish league title on goal difference by Hammarby. But goals from 20-year-old pair Rosa Kafaji and Anna Sandberg, and then a superb performance from keeper Jennifer Falk after PFC pulled one back, certainly sent out a message that Häcken are far from making up the numbers in this group.

When are the rest of the Women's Champions League group stage games?

Matchday 3: 13/14 December
Matchday 4: 20/21 December
Matchday 5: 24/25 January
Matchday 6: 30/31 January

Briefing notes

  • Roma and Ajax both had good reason to celebrate their opening results. Their encounter in Italy will give each side another chance to steal a march on Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern.

Where is the 2024 UEFA Women's Champions League final being played?

San Mamés Stadium in Bilbao will stage the 2024 UEFA Women's Champions League final on Saturday 25 May, with the kick-off time to be confirmed.

The 50,000-plus capacity home of Bilbao's Athletic Club was built on the site of the old San Mamés, replacing the 100-year-old arena of the same name in 2013. Athletic Club women's team have played several games in the new stadium, attracting 48,121 fans for a 2019 cup tie against Atlético de Madrid, at the time a Spanish record.

San Mamés previously staged two quarter-finals and a semi-final when the 2019/20 Women's Champions League concluded with an eight-team knockout tournament played behind closed doors. The other matches, including the final, were held in San Sebastián, the second time the competition had concluded in Spain after the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez in Getafe held the first decider of the rebranded Women's Champions League in 2010.

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