Emma Hayes relishing ‘epic battle’ as Chelsea visit Juventus in Women’s Champions League
Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes expects a “tense atmosphere” when her side take on Juventus in Turin in the Women’s Champions League on Wednesday.
Having reached the final of the competition last season only to suffer a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Barcelona, Hayes’ side have not had a flawless start to the new campaign.
In their opening group match they had to come from two goals down before snatching an equaliser in the second minute of added time against Wolfsburg at Kingsmeadow.
“My number one goal is winning tomorrow night,” Hayes said. “It’s an amazing opportunity to come to Turin to play Juventus. We expect a crowd, expect a tense atmosphere.”
Juventus manager Joe Montemurro is well known to Hayes, having left Arsenal to take over at the Italian side in the summer.
“This is Italy, it’s an amazing place to play football and an opponent we haven’t played in the Champions League yet, so I think intrigue and interest, but a coach that I know very well and I’m looking forward to seeing Joe tomorrow in what is always an epic battle between us both,” Hayes said.
After winning the Women’s Super League title last year, Chelsea currently sit three points behind Arsenal, having lost one of their first five matches.
But Hayes insists she and her players relish European nights.
“It’s just another great game, we’ve already had good tests so far,” she said. “I know we’ve got a dressing room that are really enjoying playing in the Champions League and we’re just looking forward to pitting ourselves against the top team in Italy.
“I certainly get the most joy from playing against teams I don’t know too much about. Obviously I know Joe and I’m looking forward to seeing him tomorrow and saying ‘Hi’ and I’m sure he’ll bring a lot of success to this football club.”
Chelsea defender Magdalena Eriksson is looking forward to a “special night”.
She added: “Last time we played Juventus was three or four years ago, so you don’t play them very often which makes it even more special.
“It’s exciting to see where you’re at compared to other top teams in other top leagues, so I’m excited by that.”
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