Europe 1 with AFP 22:56 p.m., March 20, 2023

French women's clubs Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain make their debut in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Tuesday. The two teams will face Chelsea and Wolfsburg, two big teams of women's football in Europe, respectively.

The women of Olympique Lyonnais, defending champions but second in their group, and Paris Saint-Germain meet Europe and two big offensive armadas, Chelsea (18:45) and Wolfsburg (21:00), Wednesday in the quarter-finals first leg of the Champions League that promise to be complicated. Even if the two French clubs have avoided FC Barcelona, finalist of three of the last four editions (victory in 2021, defeats in 2019 and 2022), the two double confrontations will not be easy for the leader of D1 and his current runner-up, as the players of the English and German clubs impress physically.

For these European clashes, the choice of scenery is important: the Lyon women will receive at Groupama Stadium and the Parisiennes at the Parc des Princes, even if the two enclosures will certainly be far from full (more than 10,000 people expected at the Park). "Playing at the Park will be something beautiful with the fans, so we have to play a good game," said Sakina Karchaoui, the left-back of PSG.

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Large-scale stadiums

Last year, a record was broken: 43,255 spectators attended the Parc des Princes in the semi-final second leg of the Champions League against OL (1-2). From Barcelona's Camp Nou to London's Emirates Stadium, Stamford Bridge and Rome's Olympic Stadium, all the matches of these quarter-finals will take place in large-scale stadiums. In the other two quarters, on Tuesday, Bayern will host Arsenal (18:45) and AS Roma will host FC Barcelona (21:00).

Coming second in their group behind Arsenal, Lyon will have to rub shoulders with the other Londoners, the "Blues" of Chelsea and their offensive armada. With Sam Kerr, Pernille Harder and Fran Kerby, "world-class players", according to Danish striker Signe Bruun at OL to AFP

The English team, twice PSG in the group stage (1-0 and 3-0), also has a solid defense and has conceded only one goal in the group stage, against Real. "I think there are more and more good teams. "I think before, we could say that Lyon dominated 100% all the other teams, but in recent years, there are more and more teams that can win" the Champions League, said Signe Bruun.

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A "physical strength" above all

To reach the last four, as in the three previous editions (2020, 2021, 2022), the Parisiennes will have to overcome Wolfsburg, stronghold of German football qualified for its eleventh consecutive quarter-final, a record. On Wednesday, however, the German team will be weakened by the withdrawal of its star, defensive midfielder Lena Oberdorf, injured knee this weekend.

Also without its star, striker Marie-Antoinette Katoto, unavailable for several months, PSG will have to do much better in front of goal than Saturday in the semi-final of the Coupe de France. The Parisiennes hardly qualified against Thonon-Evian-Grand-Genève, weak fourth in D2 (1-0). At the end of the match won thanks to a goal from Kheira Hamraoui, Paris coach Gérard Prêcheur also expressed his "doubt" about the performance of some players, who finished second in their group in the Champions League.

This meeting will certainly awaken the memory of the semi-final of the last Euro, won by Alexandra Popp's Germany against the France of Kadidiatou Diani, the other star striker of PSG. "We know that German teams are really a physical force above all. They are also technical and tactical, they are for me one of the best teams in the world," said Sakina Karchaoui of Paris.