Lyon (w) vs Barcelona (w)
It is the showpiece of the women’s football season.
The ultimate game to decide the ultimate crown.
Many of you us fans may not follow the women’s game that closely but, if you are to watch a match, the Women’s Champions League Final would be an ideal place to start.
As Budapest’s Ferencváros Stadium prepares to host holders Lyon and Barcelona – the Catalan giants expected their men’s side to be in the final too only for a second leg collapse – the women’s football world will be watching.
Both teams have produced wonderful Women’s Champions League highlights this term.
In fact, while Lyon have shown odd glimpses of their talent in the men competition, it is their female counterparts who have been the dominant force.
They have won this competition a record five times, including the last three successive seasons, and have actually contested seven of the past nine finals.
The names of Ada Hegerberg, top scorer in last season’s competition with 15 goals, Eugenie Le Sommer and Camille Abily, are being woven into the folklore of Lyon women’s football.
At 23, with three titles already won at Lyon, Hegerberg is threatening to rewrite the competition record books in the way Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have done in the men’s UEFA Champions League.
The Norwegian has taken just 37 games to get to 37 goals, and with 15 last season, beat the record of 14 for a single campaign, two ahead of the mark Hegerberg reached when she was top scorer in Lyon’s 2015/16 success.
You may remember Hegeberg hit the headlines after being asked to twerk as she collected her 2018 Balon D’Or award.
She continues to boycott the Norwegian national team due to how it is handled by the Norwegian FA in comparison to the men’s team
Lyon held off Chelsea as they kept alive their hopes to seek a fourth straight title in Budapest and there’s no doubt the French club have had a tougher route to the final.
They were pushed hard by Wolfsburg in the quarter-finals and all the way by the west Londoners in the semi-finals.
While Barcelona beat Bayern Munich to become Spain’s first finalist with two 1-0 victories in the two-legged semi-final, they were otherwise genuinely comfortable on their path to this point – conceding only one goal in their eight matches.
Indeed, goalkeeper Sandra Paños has kept clean sheets in their last seven European games, not conceding for 660 minutes since when they have scored 17 unanswered goals.
Their star player is the Dutch midfielder Lieke Martens. After powering Netherlands to the 2017 European Championship she was voted the best player in Europe that year. Their top scorer in Europe this year is English striker Toni Duggan. Barca’s captain is midfielder Vicky Losada.
With Lucy Bronze in the Barca camp, it means two England stars are set to go head-to-head.
In another twist, French midfielder Kheira Hamraoui left Lyon for Barca last summer but misses the final through suspension.
By way of background, FC Lyon won their first French league title in 1991 and had won four titles by the time they became part of Olympique Lyonnais in 2004. They won their fifth title in 2007 and they’ve won every championship since (13 in a row, 17 in total).
Club Femini Barcelona was set up in 1988 with sponsorship from FC Barcelona. In 2001, the women’s team became part of the FC Barcelona club but it wasn’t until 2012 that the team first won the Spanish title. After four successive league titles, Barcelona have now finished second in the last four seasons as Atletico Madrid have emerged as the top club in Spain.
This is the first ever European final played in Budapest, and the first European final in Hungary since the first league of the 1985 UEFA Cup final between Videoton and Real Madrid.
Regardless of the result, Lyon and Barcelona have both already secured their return for next season through their domestic leagues.
Of course, that will be of little consolation to the defeated side on Saturday night.
These sides met in last year’s quarter-finals.
Lyon won the first leg at home 2-1 before completing a 3-1 aggregate win in Spain.
Hegerberg struck with ten minutes left in the first leg after Patri Guijarro had cancelled out Dzsenifer Marozsán’s opener.
Eugénie Le Sommer got the goal in the return, watched by Barcelona’s then-record European crowd of 12,178 (since topped by the 12,764 that saw them beat Bayern to get to this final).
|Lyon (w) vs Barcelona (w)||Asian Handicap -1.50 Lyon @ 1.98|
|May 19, 00:00(GMT+8)|
Barcelona are Spain’s first representative in the final, joining a list that includes Germany, France, Sweden, Russia, England and Denmark. No club has won both men’s and women’s UEFA Champions Leagues.
I think they will just miss out this time.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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