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Preview | 11 OCT 2016

Barcelona and Athletic a step away from the Women's Champions League last 16

Las Azulgranas are looking to finish the job at the Miniestadi after beating Minsk 3-0 in the first leg, whilst the Basque team won 2-1 at San Mames against Fortuna Hjørring and play the return leg in Denmark.

17:00 CET FC Barcelona - Minsk
It must be all smiles in the Barcelona camp. They are sitting clear at the top of the Liga Iberdrola with five wins in five and yet to concede. Their only game in the Champions League, the first leg of the round of 32, ended with a 3-0 away victory in Belarus, keeping them on the winning trail with the hatches firmly buttoned down at the back. However, they will not be content with that. The lack of silverware in 2016 means that Las Azulgranas are under serious pressure to add to their trophy cabinet this season when it comes to the Liga Iberdrola and the Copa de la Reina. In the Champions League, the objective is to match, at the very least, reaching the quarter-finals last term. But first they need to cement their place in the last 16.

Jenni Hermoso and Marta Unzue have paved the way – the Madrilenian netting a brace and the captain getting on the scoresheet to secure the away win. This Wednesday, 12 October, Barça are preparing to celebrate at the Miniestadi. Things did not go as smoothly as they would have liked when they played there last weekend against Zaragoza CFF. The downside was that it took them 81 minutes to breach the opposition's defence. On the plus side, once they did, they made it 3-0 in the space of 10 minutes. Not only will they be gunning for victory against Minsk, they will be determined to remain unbeaten with their clean sheet intact and to get back to producing the sort of performance expected of a team put together to give glory to the fans.

19:00 CET Fortuna Hjørring – Athletic Club
It will be cold in Denmark, and the weather there will be an omen of what awaits the visitors in the match. It will be an exceedingly tough game against regular performers in the Women's Champions League who were caught off guard at San Mames. On that occasion Athletic made their home advantage count. 9,200 fans urged on Joseba Agirre's side during their return to Europe's elite competition after a nine-year absence. And 9,200 people watched as Las Leonas produced a 2-1 win in the first leg of the round of 32.

The downside was the goal that they conceded, allowing their opponents to draw level. On the plus side, Las Rojiblancas did not drop their heads. They kept on fighting until Maite Oroz netted the winner. The Bilbao outfit are convinced that they will manage to create chances on the counter and they are determined to level the tie, as a minimum, in terms away goals. They knew that returning to the Champions League would not be easy, and the loss of Garazi Murua to a grade two hamstring tear will make things even tougher. However, they are 90 minutes away from coming out on top over the course of the 180-minute tie. They know that the challenge ahead of them is huge, but so too is the reward on offer, because victory will take them back to San Mames.

© LaLiga - Year 2016

Speaking about: UEFA Women's Champions League, Champions femenina, FC Barcelona Femení, Athletic Femenino