With the Champions League Final on the horizon, the GiveMeSport Women team make their predictions. Will Chelsea or Barcelona win, what will the score be, and who will be the key player?
Olly's winner: Chelsea
It’s hard to separate the teams on paper. Both have a plethora of world-class attacking options at their disposal and have overcome noteworthy opposition in this year’s competition.
But, I fancy Chelsea to just edge it. Emma Hayes described her team as “mentality monsters” after their semi-final win against Bayern and they’ll carry this same mindset into the final. You can be sure the Blues boss has done her homework as well. Expect an ingenious plan for dealing with the threat of Hansen and Oshoala among others.
Key player: Magdalena Eriksson
Nancy's winner: Barcelona
This will truly be a match between the two best teams in Europe this season. Chelsea have blown away their opposition to retain the Women’s Super League title, while Barcelona romped to victory in the Primera Iberdrola with a goal difference of +123.
For me, this game will be truly reflect its status as a clash between two heavyweights. Expect lots of goals, drama and world-class goalkeeping. As a result, I think it will go all the way to penalties, where Barcelona will just edge it.
Score: 3-3, Barcelona win on penalties
Key player: Sandra Paños
Georgia's winner: Chelsea
While Barcelona have the better league record in terms of goals scored, Chelsea have arguably had the more intense season. The Blues had to fight off close rivals Manchester City in the Women’s Super League, as well as making an emphatic comeback against Bayern in the semi-finals.
It will be a close affair, but the Blues are hungry for this trophy. Their attack is one of, if not the best in the world right now and all players involved will be ready to heap the pressure on Barca’s backline.
With the Continental Cup and WSL title under their belt already, it’ll be hard to stop Emma Hayes and Chelsea on their gold rush.
Key player: Fran Kirby
Aiden's winner: Chelsea
A very tough decision due to how close I see the game being. Chelsea have been phenomenal in the WSL and UWCL this season, and don’t look like taking their foot off the pedal on Sunday.
Despite how good each team’s attacking threat is, I think defence will be the most important part of the match. We’ve seen how lethal Fran Kirby, Sam Kerr, Pernille Harder and others can be for Chelsea, but we also can’t forget how important their backline is too.
The Blues are coming up against a Barcelona side that have scored 128 goals in the Spanish top flight, so they’ll have to be at their best if they want to be only the second English side in the competition’s history to lift the trophy.
Nevertheless, goals win you games and Kerr is in the form of her life. Give the ball to the Australian and she will score. I can see Emma Hayes’ team just taking this one.
Key player: Magdalena ErikssonNews Now - Sport News