Hello and welcome to the first leg of the 16 tie that Emma Hayes said she had been hoping for. The Chelsea manager claims Atletico Madrid are precisely the opponents she would have chosen to face if the decision had been hers, because because she’s keen to see how her team do against José Luis Sánchez Vera’s side. Atletico will hardly be daunted by facing English opposition – they’ve knocked Man City out of this competition twice in the last two years, after all – but Chelsea, as English champions and league leaders, are formidable adversaries, especially with Fran Kirby and Millie Bright fit again.
It will be interesting to see what sort of shape Atletico are in, as they haven’t played for three weeks owing to the international break. Chelsea will be hoping to rack up a lead to take into next week’s second leg, which will be played in Italy, and that, of course, will mean firing at least one goal past none other than Hedvig Lindahl, the goalkeeper who was once a major contributor to Chelsea’s success. Kickoff is at 7pm Kingsmeadow time.