Chelsea vs Juventus: 6 players to watch in Women's Champions League clash

Both Juventus and Chelsea are looking to confirm a place in the UEFA Womenโ€™s Champions League quarter-finals.

The top two teams in Group A go head-to-head in London, with both Juventus and Chelsea looking to confirm a place in the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-finals.

In the reverse fixture, Chelsea won 2-1 thanks to goals from Erin Cuthbert and Pernille Harder, which settled a largely cagey affair.

Ahead of matchday six, GiveMeSportWomen picks out the players that could make the difference tonight.

‘Kerrby’ – Chelsea

We are all running out of superlatives to describe this formidable duo. Last weekend ‘Kerrby’, once again, ran riot. This time at Wembley.

First, Fran Kirby broke the deadlock, before Sam Kerr scored twice, with a delicious chip for Chelsea’s third the pick of the goals.

Still, the performance was one we expected. Combined, Chelsea’s deadly duo have hit 15 goals in just eight WSL matches. The pair also have eight assists between them.

In the form they are both in right now,you’d wouldn’t bet against the Chelsea double-act deciding the outcome of tonight’s tie.

How good are Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby?

Pauline Peyraud-Magnin – Juventus

Key to Juventus’ hopes will be goalkeeper Peyraud-Magnin.

Against Wolfsburg – a game Juventus would go on to win comfortably – the former Arsenal keeper made a string of vital saves at 0-0.

In the reverse fixture between Chelsea and Juventus, she impressed too. Her best save was a stunning dive to deny Sam Kerr and a third goal for the Blues.

Still, with such an abundance of attacking talent on the field for Chelsea, the Juventus goalkeeper will need the game of her life to keep them out.

Pauline Peyraud-Magnin

Pernille Harder – Chelsea

In close contests, a moment of magic is often the difference.

And, luckily for Emma Hayes, Chelsea have one of the greatest strikers of all-time at their disposal.

However, because of the form of Kerr and Kerby, Harder is – alongside Beth England – being used as a rotation option.

In Turin, Harder – who became the most expensive signing in the history of women’s football in 2020 – snatched all three points. In the 70th minute, the ball broke in the box, and the Danish international struck home.

It was a clinical finish – but it was exactly what you’d expect from such a talent.

Tonight will be no different.

Lina Hurtig – Juventus

Hurtig, who reached the quarter-finals with Swedish side Linköpings in 2018, has
been a mainstay in the Juventus side since signing in 2020.

The Swedish international has four champions league goals already this season, including qualifiers.

And, she was also on form in the international break – netting in both of Sweden’s wins against Slovakia and Finland.

Four points from two group games against Wolfsburg shows that Juventus can do it against the very best.

For the Bianconere, Hurtig will be key if they can continue their 100 percent record away from home against Chelsea.

Could Lina Hurtig be the difference tonight?

Erin Cuthbert – Chelsea

Cuthbert was on fire in the FA Cup Final win over Arsenal on Sunday.

Her workrate was key to another Emma Hayes tactical masterclass that saw the Blues run riot at Wembley with a 4-0 over their desperate London rivals.

In the reverse fixture in Turin, Cuthbert opened the scoring. She cut inside, and drove at the Juventus defense, before cooly passing the ball into the net.

The 23 year-old’s only other goal of the season came at the Emirates.

Clearly, Cuthbert loves a big game – and the Champions League, with a quarter-final place at stake, is one of the biggest of them all.

Cristiana Girelli – Juventus

Girelli joined Juventus in 2018 and has produced some memorable performances of late.

The Italian striker has scored five goals in nine Serie A matches, and has also netted on three occasions in this season’s Champions League.

However, it is her performances against Wolfsburg in the last two matchdays that makes Girelli a player Chelsea should fear.

In the first match, her left-footed strike opened the scoring, before she later grabbed a 90th minute equaliser to rescue a valuable point.

Whilst in the return fixture, she led the line as Juventus beat Wolfsburg 2-0 away from home.

If Juventus can cause an upset, they’ll need Girelli to fire.

The question is, with Chelsea in such good form, how many chances will she even get?

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