Contenders get set for knockouts

The round of 32 kicks off on Wednesday and Thursday and UEFA.com looks at how the leading contenders are getting along in their domestic competitions.

Lotta Schelin scored twice for Lyon at the weekend
Lotta Schelin scored twice for Lyon at the weekend ©AFP

The UEFA Women's Champions League knockouts kick off on Wednesday and Thursday with the round of 32 first legs and UEFA.com looks at how the leading contenders are getting along in their domestic competitions.

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Germany
As they prepare to open their title defence at Stabæk Fotball on Wednesday, VfL Wolfsburg went top of the Frauen Bundesliga as they defeated previous leaders 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam 2-1. In fourth, three points behind Wolfsburg, are 1. FFC Frankfurt, who saw off Herforder SV 6-1 ahead of their return to Europe at FC BIIK-Kazygurt, who have retained the Kazakh title with 20 perfect wins and 181 goals.

France
Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain both picked up fifth straight wins and are six point clear of any other challengers. Lyon beat FF Issy 6-0 while Paris, off to BeNe League leaders FC Twente on Wednesday secured a 2-0 win against FCF Juvisy Essonne, whose own perfect start was ended by Lyon last week.

Sweden
FC Rosengård, who have retained their title, had the weekend off but Linköpings FC saw their hopes off a European return in 2015/16 fade. They were held 0-0 by Eskilstuna United DFF on Sunday and are two points behind second-placed Göteborg FC and KIF Örebro DFF with two games to go.

England
Linköping's Wednesday hosts Liverpool LFC kept their hopes of a second straight title alive with Gemma Davison's last-gasp equaliser at Arsenal LFC. Arsenal had led 3-1 but Nicole Rolser, back from long-term injury, pulled one back before Davison struck. However, Liverpool are now three points behind Chelsea LFC and two adrift of Birmingham LFC with one game left.

Bristol Academy WFC cannot finish in the top two and are sixth after losing 2-0 at home to Notts County LFC ahead of their Thursday's trip to Raheny United FC, who have two wins in the nascent Irish season.

Denmark
The two European contenders were matched at Fortuna Hjørring drew 1-1 with Brøndby IF, who had not previously dropped a point but remain two clear. Brøndby now visit Apollon LFC and Fortuna face Clube Atlético Ouriense, who have won both Portuguese fixtures so far.

Norway
Wolfsburg's opponents Stabæk Fotball are in a struggle with LSK Kvinner FK to retain their title and remain two points behind as although the reigning champions won 2-0 at Røa IL on Saturday, they were held 2-2 by Vålerenga FB the week before.

Russia
The top four have split into the championship group and on Friday Ryazan-VDV beat fellow European contenders WFC Zvezda-2005 to go three points clear of their opponents with three games to go. On Wednesday, Zvezda visit Icelandic champions Stjarnan and Ryazan welcome Swedish title-winners Rosengård.

Italy
The new season began on Saturday and ASD Torres CF were held 2-2 at ACFD Pordenone having led by two while ACF Brescia, preparing to host Lyon on Thursday in their European debut, won 3-0 at promoted ASD Cueno CF. Torres are travelling to Slovenian leaders ŽNK Pomurje, who have scored 93 goals in their five wins this season.

Czech Republic & Spain
This season the Czech Republic has two entries in the competition, an honour that goes to Spain in 2015/16. Those two nations’ champions are matched at Stadion Eden on Wednesday when SK Slavia Praha, with six wins out of this season, welcome FC Barcelona, whp are fifth in Spain but won 30 at CEF San Gabriel on Saturday.

The other Czech entrants, AC Sparta Praha, are three points behind Slavia who beat them on 27 September; they go to a Gintra Universitetas side who have retained the Lithuanian title with 16 perfect wins and 112 unanswered goals.

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