Eight teams will compete to win the UEFA Women's Champions League when the quarter-finals are played in March and UEFA.com profiles the seven veterans and sole debutants.
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The eight UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finalists include four past winners – all kept apart in the draw – seven teams who have played at this stage before and one other in their first European season. UEFA.com profiles the eight hopefuls.
Quarter-finals (14/15 and 21/22 March)
1: FC Malmö (SWE) v 1. FFC Frankfurt (GER)
2: Olympique Lyonnais (FRA, holders) v Brøndby IF (DEN)
3: 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam (GER) v FC Rossiyanka (RUS)
4: Arsenal LFC (ENG) v Göteborg FC (SWE)
Semi-finals (14/15 and 21/22 April)
1: Lyon or Brøndby v Potsdam or Rossiyanka
2: Arsenal or Göteborg v Malmö or Frankfurt
Final (17 May, Munich)
Winner semi-final 1 v Winner semi-final 2
FC Malmö (SWE)
Having reached the semi-finals on their only previous campaign (losing 4-1 on aggregate to Frankfurt), Malmö have come to the fore again after years of domination by Umeå IK and Linköpings FC. They took the title last season and defended it successfully in 2011 – meaning like Arsenal and Swedish runners-up Göteborg FC, they will be back in 2012/13 – and although they lost their European return 2-1 at UPC Tavagnacco, they won the second leg 5-0 and comfortably ousted SV Neulenbach. With the close season now begun squad changes are likely before March, with Damallsvenskan player of the year Ramona Bachmann already signed up front from Umeå to replace United States-bound Manon Melis, while Sweden midfielder Nilla Fischer has also left for Linköping. They have a new coach in Peter Moberg following Martin Sjögren's departure.
Best performance: semi-finals 2004
Quarter-final record: W1 L0
Top scorer: Sara Bjork Gunnarsdóttir, Manon Melis* 4
1. FFC Frankfurt (GER)
Having missed two straight European seasons for the first time, sole three-time winners Frankfurt have returned with their usual high hopes. Surprisingly they have lost both away games on their way here, beaten 1-0 at Stabæk FK in the round of 32 before a 4-1 win in the return then losing the second leg against Paris Saint-Germain FC 2-1 in the last 16, although Frankfurt had won 3-0 at home. Birgit Prinz may have retired in the summer but fellow stalwarts Nadine Angerer and Kerstin Garefrekes are still there alongside playmaker Fatmire Bajramaj, signed from Potsdam in the summer after reaching two straight finals.
Best performance: winners 2002, 2006, 2008
Quarter-final record: W5 L2
Top scorer: Ana Maria Crnogorčević 2
Olympique Lyonnais (FRA, holders)
Having never failed to reach the semi-finals since their 2007/08 debut (when they drew 0-0 at home to Brøndby in a second qualifying round group game) and been pipped on penalties by Potsdam in the 2010 decider, Lyon turned the tables on Turbine in London last May to take the trophy to France for the first time. Mixing the cream of France's FIFA Women's World Cup semi-finalists like Élodie Thomis, Camille Abily, Sonia Bompastor, Eugénie Le Sommer and Louisa Necib with foreign signings including prolific Sweden striker Lotta Schelin and Swiss playmaker Lara Dickenmann, Lyon beat both CFF Olimpia Cluj and AC Sparta Praha 12-0 on aggregate to get to this draw.
Best performance: winners 2011
Quarter-final record: W4 L0
Top scorer: Eugénie Le Sommer 6
Brøndby IF (DEN)
One of this competition's regulars, two-time semi-finalists Brøndby have fallen in the round of 16 in both previous seasons in the UEFA Women's Champions League format. They secured a 2-1 home win and 3-1 away defeat of ASD Torres CF to put that right this time, having been given a last-32 scare by Standard Femina de Liège. Last summer Brøndby reclaimed the Danish title from Fortuna Hjørring, from whom they promptly signed Lise Munk, their six-goal leading scorer on their European run, supported well by another player who made that switch, Julie Rydahl Bukh.
Best performance: semi-finals 2004, 2007
Quarter-final record: W2 L3
Top scorer: Lise Munk 6
1. FFC Turbine Potsdam (GER)
German champions Potsdam missed out on a second straight title, and their third overall, with a final defeat by Lyon last season, but despite Bajramaj's departure remain hugely strong, scoring 31 goals in their four games so far. Bernd Schröder, who first became coach in 1971 and turns 70 two months after his side hope to equal Frankfurt's mark of three victories in Munich, has led Potsdam to four finals in five entries. However they have lost long-time spearhead Anja Mittag to Malmö; she had been the competition's leading scorer this season, closing in on Hanna Ljungberg's all-time career mark of 39. Yuki Nagasato is hoping to make up for missing last year's decider through injury and arriving in the new year is prolific Iceland striker Margrét Lára Vidarsdóttir. In their debut 2004/05 campaign, they beat Russian opponents FC Energiya Voronezh in the quarter-finals on their way to lifting the trophy.
Best performance: winners 2005, 2010
Quarter-final record: W4 L1
Top scorer: Anja Mittag* 7
FC Rossiyanka (RUS)
The Russian champions, also leading the way in the transitional 18-month 2011/12 season, knocked out compatriots FC Energiya Voronezh in a topsy-turvy round of 16 tie, Rossiyanka winning 4-0 away but then fortunate to hold out in a 3-3 home draw. They had previously fallen twice in the last 16 since their 2007/08 quarter-final run, ended by Potsdam's German rivals Frankfurt, but look a stronger team now. They have added Brazil forward Cristiane and also Sweden midfielder Sofia Jakobsson after missing out on Inka Grings this summer following injury to South Africa striker Nompumelelo Nyandeni.
Best performance: quarter-finals 2008
Quarter-final record: W0 L1
Top scorer: Cristiane, Sofia Jakobsson 4
Arsenal LFC (ENG)
The first team to reach ten quarter-finals, Arsenal – who fell to Lyon in the semis last time – have missed out on the last eight just once, when Fulham LFC were England's representatives in 2003/04. Laura Harvey's domestic treble-winners comfortably beat Rayo Vallecano de Madrid 6-2 on aggregate in the round of 16 having needed a last-gasp goal to oust the same team 12 months earlier. Their attacking resources are formidable with Ellen White, Kim Little and the evergreen Julie Fleeting fine strikers. They knocked out Swedish opponents in Linköpings FC in the quarter-finals last season.
Best performance: winners 2007
Quarter-final record: W4 L5
Top scorer: Jennifer Beattie, Danielle Carter, Jordan Nobbs 3
Göteborg FC (SWE)
One of two national runners-up left along with Frankfurt, Göteborg are the only European newcomers remaining. Pipped by Malmö to the Swedish title in 2010 and 2011, Göteborg have certainly taken to the competition, matching Lyon and Potsdam in winning all four fixtures so far. They have been boosted by the arrival in midfield of experienced Norwegian Ingvild Stensland from Lyon. However, Swedish international Lisa Dahqvist, a former finalist with Umeå, has now left the club for Tyresö FF.
Best performance: first entry
Top scorer: Jane Törnqvist 3
*Has left club