Women's Cup ready for kick-off

The 2007/08 UEFA Women's Cup starts today with Everton LFC, Olympique Lyonnais and AC Sparta Praha among the 40 clubs in the first qualifying round.

Former quarter-finalists
Ten first qualifying round mini-tournaments are taking place across Europe with games continuing on Saturday and next Tuesday, and two past quarter-finalists are involved. Sparta are in Israel to play Group A10 home side Maccabi Holon FC, Romania's CFF Clujana and AEK Kokkinochovion of Cyprus, while Valur Reykjavík take on ADO Den Haag, Finnish champions FC Honka Espoo and Faroese hosts Klaksvíkar Ítróttarfelag KÍ in Group A2.

Famous names
Two famous clubs are making their first appearances in the premier European women's competition - Everton, qualified as English runners-up behind UEFA Women's Cup holders Arsenal LFC - meet Switzerland's FFC Zuchwil 05, Lithuanian hosts Gintra Universitetas and Glentoran Belfast United in Group A1, while Lyon have a Group A6 test against ŽNK SFK 2000 Sarajevo, Slovakian team FK Slova Duslo Sala and ZFK Skiponjat in F.Y.R. Macedonia. Two nations are represented for the first time; Georgia's Dinamo Tbilisi have the tough task of topping Russian title-holders WFC Rossiyanka on their home territory while Maltese champions Birkirkara FC take on Spain's Athletic Club BFKEB and Italy's ASD CF Bardolino Verona in a group hosted by Slovenia's ŽNK KRKA Novo Mesto.

Road to trophy
The ten group winners and the best runners-up will go into the next around along with Arsenal, 2007 runners-up Umeå IK, the Swedish champions' fellow two-time winners 1. FFC Frankfurt plus last season's beaten semi-finalists Brøndby IF and Kolbotn IL in October. The top two teams from each second qualifying round group progresses to the two-legged quarter-finals in November, with the route to the subsequent rounds in spring pre-ordained. If the groups go with seeding, Frankfurt would be rematched with the team that ended their grip on the trophy at the last-eight stage in 2006/07, Kolbotn. Meanwhile, if both Arsenal and Umeå win their groups, they would be on course for the same semi-final.

2007/08 UEFA Women's Cup first qualifying round: 9-14 August
Hosts in bold
Group A1 Group A2
Everton LFC (ENG) Valur Reykjavík (ISL)
FFC Zuchwil 05 (SUI) ADO Den Haag (NED)
Gintra Universitetas (LTU) FC Honka Espoo (FIN)
Glentoran Belfast United (NIR) Klaksvíkar Ítróttarfelag KÍ (FRO)
Group A3 Group A4
SV Neulengbach (AUT) FCL Rapide Wezemaal (BEL)
Uczniowski Klub Sportowy 'GOL' (POL) SU 1° Dezembro (POR)
Hibernian LFC (SCO) Cardiff City LFC (WAL)
Mayo FC (IRL) WFC Osijek (CRO)
Group A5 Group A6
Athletic Club BFKEB (ESP) Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)
ASD CF Bardolino Verona (ITA) ŽNK SFK 2000 Sarajevo (BIH)
ŽNK KRKA Novo Mesto (SVN) FK Slova Duslo Sala (SVK)
Birkirkara FC (MLT) ZFK Skiponjat (MKD)
Group A7 Group A8
WFC Rossiyanka (RUS) Universitet Vitebsk (BLR)
Zhilstroy-1 Kharkov (UKR) FC NSA Sofia (BUL)
ŽFK Napredak Krusevac (SRB) FC PAOK Thessaloniki (GRE)
FC Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) Pärnu FC (EST)
Group A9 Group A10
Alma KTZH (KAZ) AC Sparta Praha (CZE)
1. FC Femina Budapest (HUN) Maccabi Holon FC (ISR)
FC Narta Chisinau (MDA) CFF Clujana (ROU)
Ruslan-93 (AZE) AEK Kokkinochovion (CYP)

2007/08 UEFA Women's Cup second qualifying round: 11-16 October
Hosts tbc
Group B1 Group B2
Arsenal LFC (ENG, holders) Umeå IK (SWE)
Winners Group A5 Winners Group A7
Winners Group A9 Best runners-up
Winners Group A3 Winners Group A8
Group B3 Group B4
1. FFC Frankfurt (GER) Brøndby IF (DEN)
Winners Group A4 Kolbotn IL (NOR)
Winners Group A2 Winners Group A6
Winners Group A1 Winners Group A10

2007/08 UEFA Women's Cup knockout rounds (first team named home in first leg)
Quarter-finals: 14/15 & 21/22 November
1: Runners-up Group B4 v Winners Group B1
2: Runners-up Group B3 v Winners Group B2
3: Runners-up Group B2 v Winners Group B3
4: Runners-up Group B1 v Winners Group B4
Semi-finals: 29/30 March & 5/6 April
1: Winners Quarter-final 1 v Winners Quarter-final 2
2: Winners Quarter-final 3 v Winners Quarter-final 4
Final: 17 & 24 May
Winners Semi-final 1 v Winners Semi-final 2

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