Arsenal Women – Champions League last 16 draw – We get the toughest opponents




by Andrew Crawshaw

The draw for the group stage let 16 on the Women’s Champions League was held on Monday.

The 16 teams had been split into 4 groups.  The holders and the league winners from the top three leagues in terms of ranking coefficient points were to be in Pot 1 but as Lyon were both the Champions and the champions of one of the top four associations, Barcelona as winners of the fourth-ranked association were added to that group.

Pot 1

  • Lyon – France Champions and French Champions – 128 coefficient
  • Barcelona – Spanish champions – 112 Coefficient
  • Wolfsburg – Germany – 102 coefficient
  • Chelsea – England – 78 coefficient

The remaining 12 teams were split into three groups according to their coefficient rankings

Pot 2

Pot 3

  • Rosengård – Sweden – 38
  • Juventus – Italy – 30
  • Real Madrid – Spain – 26
  • St Pölten – Austria – 25

Pot 4

  • Zürich – Suitzerland – 22
  • Vllanzia – Albania – 14
  • Benfica – Portugal – 13.6
  • Roma – Italy – 5

Teams from Pot 1 were drawn first and one each placed into each of the four groups, followed by teams in Pots 2, 3 and4.  Teams from the same association cannot meet each other at this stage so we couldn’t be put into the same group as Chelsea

Here is the full draw…


Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
Group A Chelsea PSG Real Madrid Vllaznia
Group B Wolfsburg Slavia Praha St Pölten Roma
Group C Lyon Arsenal Juventus Zürich
Group D Barcelona Bayern München Rosendård Benfica


So we have the team with the highest coefficient ranking in pot 1, the reigning champions Lyon, the second highest ranked team from Pot 3, Juventus managed by Joe Montemurro, and the highest ranked team in Pot 4 in Zurich.  About as difficult a group of opponents as it is possible for us to have drawn.

Having said that we should be capable of beating both Juventus and Zürich and thereby qualifying for the quarter-finals by virtue of finishing second in the group.  Lyon have been the No 1 team in Europe for many years no hence their astronomic coefficient score.

The coefficient rankings are the result of how well a team has done in the five previous seasons UEFA competitions.  Plus 20% of the points awarded to all of the teams from the relevant league in the previous 5 years divided by the number of teams in the association taking part in the competition.  That means that we get a degree of benefit from the results of both Chelsea and Manchester City – hence my not being pleased with City failing to reach the group stage for the past two seasons.

Our coefficient rating is made up of 14 points from the 2019/20 season, 12 points from last season and 13.2 as our share of the FA Coefficient.  We have no points from the other years where we failed to qualify for the Champions League.

By winning our round 2 match against PSV we have gained 4 points, We will gain an extra 2 points from each win in the group stage onwards and 1 point from each draw.  Should we progress beyond the group stage, we will gain 1 point for each round we reach as well.  If my calculations are right should we win the competition, our coefficient score will rise by 19 plus the percentage of the FA Association coefficient.  At this stage it is a bit academic and we merely need to concentrate on doing as well as we can against Lyon and beating both Juventus and Zürich to get at least second place in the draw.

The matches are scheduled to take place over the following dates:-

  • Matchday 1 – 19/20 October
  • Matchday 2 – 26/27 October
  • Matchday 3 – 23/24 November
  • Matchday 4 – 7/8 December
  • Matchday 5 – 15/26 December
  • Matchday 6 – 21/22 December

Team news

Arsenal have confirmed that our Brazilian defender Rafaelle will be out for a few weeks having suffered a broken Metatarsal following heavy and unpunished challenges in each of our last two games against Tottenham and PSV.  Lotte Wubben-Moy will deputise until she is fit again and Jen Beattie will step up as first reserve should we suffer further problems at Centre Back.

Beth Mead who had to come off in the closing stages against PSV when she suffered concussion, has made a good recovery and will join up with her England colleagues for the current International break.  In my opinion, the challenge was both dangerous and late and probably by the last defender and should have been a red card.  In the eyes of the Spanish referee though it was only worthy of a yellow card.

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