Australians figuring in the UEFA Women’s Champions League have been handed tough draws in the competition’s group stages, including facing each other.
- Steph Catley and Caitin Foord’s Arsenal team will meet former manager and fellow Aussie Joe Montemurro, who leads Juventus
- They are also drawn against reigning champions Lyon in group C
- Sam Kerr’s Chelsea team will face a Paris-Saint Germain squad that includes Australian goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold
Arsenal, with Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley, meet Italian champions Juventus, managed by fellow Aussie Joe Montemurro, who brought Foord and Catley to London when in charge at the Gunners.
Reigning champions Lyon, for whom Ellie Carpenter is recovering from a serious knee injury suffered in the final in May, are also in the group from which only two teams progress. Making up the quartet is Swiss club Zurich.
Sam Kerr’s Chelsea was paired with last year’s semi-finalists Paris Saint-Germain, who have Australian goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold in their squad, and Real Madrid, who knocked out the Manchester City team of Hayley Raso, Alanna Kennedy and Mary Fowler in the qualifying round.
The likely makeweights in the section are Vllaznia, the first Albanian men’s or women’s club to reach the last 16 in any European competition for more than 30 years.
Matildas goalkeeper Teagan Micah’s Rosengard face 2021 champions and runners-up last season Barcelona, as well as German giants Bayern Munich and Portuguese club Benfica.
In the remaining group, regular finalists Wolfsburg were drawn with Roma, Slavia Prague and St Polten.
The group stage will run from October 19 to December 22, with the knockout rounds in the northern hemisphere’s spring and the final on June 3 or 4 in Eindhoven, Netherlands.