Chelsea face Barcelona in Gothenburg on Sunday in the Women’s Champions League final. Here, we look at some of the key players for either side ahead of the showdown at Gamla Ullevi.
The Australia forward arrived at Chelsea during the 2019-20 season having scored a glut of goals in her homeland and the United States, and has gone on to amply demonstrate her potency for the Blues this term. Kerr claimed the Women’s Super League Golden Boot after netting 21 times in 22 appearances for Emma Hayes’ title-winners, notched a hat-trick in the 6-0 League Cup final victory over Bristol City and has contributed three goals to this Champions League run.
While Kerr has certainly impressed, playmaker Kirby has arguably been even better for Chelsea this term. Her WSL record for 2020-21 shows 16 goals plus 11 assists - Kerr produced seven - and with six goals in the Champions League campaign, the England playmaker is the competition’s joint leading scorer for this season. Kerr, Kirby and Denmark star Pernille Harder make for a formidable attacking trio.
Chelsea captain Magda Eriksson and fellow centre-back Millie Bright are set to try to thwart the Barcelona attack as Hayes’ side take on an outfit who have scored 128 goals in 26 Spanish top-flight games this term. It will be a particularly big occasion for Eriksson, taking place in her native Sweden - left-back Jonna Andersson and goalkeeper Zecira Musovic are compatriots in the squad.
There may be considerable emphasis on Leon in Barcelona’s bid to keep Kerr, Kirby, Harder and co at bay, with her central defensive partner Andrea Pereira suspended for this match.
Hermoso is the record goalscorer for the Spain Women national team and the player level with Kirby at the top of the scoring charts for this season’s Champions League. That included an effort in Barca’s 3-0 quarter-final first-leg win over Chelsea’s WSL rivals Manchester City.
Nigeria and former Liverpool and Arsenal forward Oshoala caused significant problems for City as she scored in both legs of the last-eight tie. She started each of those games before Barca boss Lluis Cortes opted to have Hermoso start and use Oshoala as a substitute in the two semi-final legs against Paris St Germain. Other attacking threats in the Barca ranks include Norway’s Caroline Graham Hansen and Holland’s Lieke Martens.
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