Barcelona vs Chelsea LIVE: Women’s Champions League latest as Lauren James to start for Blues

Chelsea lived up to expectations to reach Champions League semi-finals, says Hayes

Chelsea travel to Spain to take on Barcelona in the Women’s Champions League semi-finals this afternoon with a place on the European showpiece on the line.

It is the second time in as many years that the two teams have met at this stage of the competition with Barcelona getting over the line last season. Caroline Graham Hansen scored a stunner to clinch the first leg at Stamford Bridge and the Blues were not able to overturn the deficit at the Nou Camp with the second leg ending in a 1-1 draw.

This time around Barcelona are playing at home first which should provide some assistance to Emma Hayes’ team if they can come back to London with the tie in the balance. Chelsea have never beaten Barcelona in the women’s game but anything other than a heavy defeat today would keep them in contention to reach the final in Bilbao.

Hayes, who is leaving Chelsea at the end of the season, has won every trophy possible with the Blues except the Women’s Champions League but will need to overcome an old enemy if she is to sign off her tenure in style.

Watch the Women’s Champions League Semi-Finals for free on DAZN and get the latest match odds and tips here. Follow all the action below


Why Barcelona remains the final frontier for Chelsea and Emma Hayes in the Women’s Champions League

It is around this time of the season when Emma Hayes starts to tell her Chelsea players they need to be prepared to “suffer” in the Women’s Champions League. Hayes will have a simple message as her side visit the holders and face the all-conquering Barcelona for the third time in four seasons: Chelsea can’t win this semi-final tie in the first leg, but they can lose it. Getting back to Stamford Bridge for the return leg next week with their hopes of progressing to the Bilbao final still alive will be the priority.

For one final time, Hayes and Chelsea have switched into a siege mentality as they travel to the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium. The Champions League is the one trophy that has eluded Hayes during her 12-year reign at Chelsea and this is their final chance. The prospect of Hayes crowning an era of domestic dominance by adding a first continental title, departing into the sunset as European champions, is the fairytale ending but the past few weeks have shown that reality can be rather less forgiving.

Jamie Braidwood20 April 2024 11:45


Barcelona vs Chelsea confirmed line-up

Barcelona XI: Cata Coll, Paredes, Paralluelo, Mariona, Graham, Patri, Aitana, Rolfo, Walsh, Batlle, Engen

Chelsea XI: Hampton, Lawrence, Carter, Buchanan, Charles, Leupolz, Cuthbert, Nusken, Kaneryd, James, Ramirez

Sonia Twigg20 April 2024 11:30


Chelsea’s Lauren James a doubt for Barcelona clash as Emma Hayes refuses to comment on injury

Chelsea forward Lauren James is a doubt for Saturday’s Women’s Champions League semi-final against Barcelona after Emma Hayes confirmed she missed Wednesday’s win over Aston Villa due to injury.

Hayes said James had not trained this week but refused to reveal any further details after the 22-year-old was absent from the Chelsea squad after playing the whole of Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United.

Chelsea travel to Barcelona on Friday ahead of the first leg of their Champions League semi-final clash against the holders, with the return leg taking place at Stamford Bridge the following week.

England international James is Chelsea’s top scorer in all competitions this season and is central to their hopes of winning a first Champions League title, with striker Sam Kerr ruled out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury.

Jamie Braidwood20 April 2024 11:15


Barcelona vs Chelsea team news

Chelsea forward Lauren James is a doubt and did not train on Friday after missing the 3-0 win over Aston Villa in midweek. Chelsea were already without Sam Kerr and Millie Bright, who remains out with a knee injury. After being rested in midweek, the likes of Guro Reiten, Erin Cuthbert and Melanie Leupolz should return.

Barcelona have a host of world-class stars and, apart from Spain centre-back Mapi Leon. Jonatan Giráldez has a fully-fit squad to work with. Alexia Putellas is getting back to full fitness but Patricia Guijarro may retain her place in midfield, while Salma Paralluelo may start ahead of Esmee Brugts. England duo Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh should start.

Jamie Braidwood20 April 2024 11:01


How to watch the Women’s Champions League

Catch the thrilling clash UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-final as Emma Hayes’s Chelsea face Spanish superstars Barcelona. Watch all the action unfold live and for free on DAZN. We may earn commission from some of the links in this article, but we never allow this to influence our content. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Jamie Braidwood20 April 2024 11:00


When is Barcelona vs Chelsea?

The Women’s Champions League semi-final will kick off at 12:30pm BST (UK time) on Saturday 20 April, at the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium.

Jamie Braidwood20 April 2024 10:45


Good morning

Chelsea travel to Barcelona to face the Women’s Champions League holders in a rematch of last season’s semi-finals.

The Champions League is the only trophy that has eluded Chelsea under Emma Hayes during the dominant era of domestic success, and this is the club’s final chance with Hayes leaving at the end of the season.

Barcelona defeated Chelsea in last year’s semi-finals, edging the tie 2-1 on aggregate following a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge and a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou. The Spanish side went on to beat Wolfsburg in the final and are targeting a third Champions League title in four seasons.

Barcelona won the first of those against Chelsea in the 2021 final – winning 4-0 to deny Chelsea and Hayes their first Champions League trophy.

Can the Blues earn revenge and give Hayes the perfect send-off? Here’s everything you need to know ahead of kick-off

Jamie Braidwood20 April 2024 10:30

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