Blues will face Sarajevo

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Assistant manager Paul Green and manager Emma Hayes watch opponents warm up at Kingsmeadow

 

Chelsea Women will take on the Bosnian side SFK 2000 Sarajevo in the opening stage of this year’s Champions League – the competition that the Blues got to the semi-finals of last season before being defeated by eventual runners-up Wolfsburg.

Chelsea are in the last 32 of the competition, with the draw for the first pairings having taken place in Switzerland on Friday.

Arch rivals Manchester City will play Atletico Madrid.

The Blues’ first round, on the weekend of September 12/13, will be in Bosnia, with the return leg at Kingsmeadow on the weekend of September 26/27.

Sarajevo were ranked 24th out of the 32 teams, winning their 16th domestic championship on the spin in 2017/18, and taking the title by 24 points.

So it will be the English champions against the Bosnian champions.

It’s the fourth year in a row that Emma Hayes’ girls are taking part in European competition, with Chelsea now up to ninth place in the rankings, based on past seasons’ form.

The final of the UEFA Women’s Champions League will take place at the Ferencvaros Stadium in Budapest, Hungary, on Saturday May 18 next year.

Round of 32 draw:

Honka (FIN) v FC Zürich (SUI)
Fiorentina (ITA) v Fortuna Hjørring (DEN)
Ajax (NED) v Sparta Praha (CZE)
Avaldsnes (NOR) v Lyon (FRA, holders)
Ryazan-VDV v FC Rosengård (SWE)
Juventus (ITA) v Brøndby (DEN)
SFK 2000 Sarajevo (BIH) v CHELSEA
Atletico Madrid (ESP) v MANCHESTER CITY
Thór/KA (ISL) v Wolfsburg (GER)
Gintra Universitetas (LTU) v Slavia Praha (CZE)
BIIK-Kazygurt (KAZ) v Barcelona (ESP)
Somatio Barcelona FA (CYP) v Glasgow City (SCO)
ŽFK Spartak (SRB) v Bayern München (GER)
St. Pölten (AUT) v Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
WFC Kharkiv (UKR) v Linköping (SWE)
LSK Kvinner (NOR) v Zvezda-2005 (RUS)