WOMEN'S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Alexia is back as Barça Femení aim for fourth WUCL final
After missing almost a year of action through injury, Alexia Putellas is back in a Barcelona squad as they face Chelsea in the WUCL semi-final (second leg).
The end of April, has been for earmarked for some time a key moment for the potential reappearance of Alexia Putellas. 296 days after her cruciate ligament injury, FC Barcelona’s captain is back in a first team squad as they get ready for the Champions League semi-final second leg against Chelsea at Camp Nou on Thursday evening.
More than 65,000 tickets have already been sold and with the news of Alexia’s return, sales could skyrocket on game day. It’s unlikely that Alexia will start the contest but may be drafted in at some point to regain high profile match experience as Barcelona look to secure their fourth Champions League final berth.
After last week’s first leg in London, Eindhoven is a step closer for Barcelona who start as favourites to advance with home advantage and a 0-1 cushion from the game at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea coach Emma Hayes also has to contend with two key absentees as center backs Bright and Buchanan will be absent. The game could also see the return of Fran Kirby.
Lucy Bronze (out with injury) is the only key player missing for Barça as the only casualty. Coach Jonatan Giráldez is expected to select Mariona instead of Salma with Marta Torrejón expected to cover the gap left by Bronze’s absence.
Barcelona are confident pre-game but focused and the club are anxious that the focus on Alexia doesn’t take away from the task at hand which is securing a place in the 2023 final which will be played in Eindhoven on 3 June.