Barcelona and Arsenal face off in the Women’s Champions League this week in what is the pick of the games from matchday one of the brand new group stage.

These two clubs currently lead their respective domestic leagues and are among the sides expected to do well in the competition this season.

Here’s everything you need to know about the game…

What time is kick off? Tuesday 5 October, 20:00 (BST)/21:00 (CEST)
Where is it being played? Johan Cruyff Stadium
TV channel? DAZN YouTube channel (worldwide)
Referee? Jana Adamkova (CZE)

The Barcelona squad is still largely the same as that which won the Champions League last season but has been strengthened by the summer arrivals Fridolina Rolfo, Ingrid Engen and Irene Paredes.

Jenni Hermoso, Leila Ouahabi, Sandra Panos and Andrea Pereira have all been passed fit.

Hermoso and Ouahabi are coming back from longer term absences and there is still doubt as to whether they will be included from the start here.

Tobin Heath is in line to make her Champions League debut, with a desire to play in the competition one of several factors why she chose to join the Gunners last month.

Leah Williamson and Katie McCabe both started on the bench against Aston Villa in the WSL at the weekend to ensure they would be well rested for this one.

Coach Jonas Eidevall already has his sights set on winning the Champions League.

Barcelona: Panos, Torrejon, Paredes, Leon, Serrano; Engen, Guijarro, Putellas; Hansen, Oshoala, Martens

Arsenal: Zinsberger; Maritz, Beattie, Williamson, McCabe; Walti, Little, Maanum; Mead, Miedema, Heath

Arsenal and Barcelona have met in this competition before in what was actually the latter’s first ever European game following their maiden Spanish league title in 2012.

It was the last 32 of the 2012/13 Champions League and Arsenal cruised to a 7-0 aggregate win – Barcelona have since never been eliminated from the competition at such an early stage.

Even though the two-legged tie was nine years ago, there are survivors on either side.

An 18-year-old Alexia Putellas, current Barça captain and reigning UEFA women’s player of the year, started both games, while Jordan Nobbs, Kim Little and Jennifer Beattie featured for Arsenal.

All three surviving Gunners scored over the two legs, with Beattie netting a second half hat-trick in the second leg – two headers and a penalty. Both she and Little went on to leave Arsenal within a few months but have since returned in 2020 and 2017 respectively.

Arsenal have started the season on fire but Barcelona are a formidable opponent

Arsenal have started the season on fire but Barcelona are a formidable opponent / Alex Morton/Getty Images

Away against the reigning champions and hot favourites to retain the trophy is the biggest test that could have been thrown at Arsenal to open the group stage.

The Gunners made relatively light work of three qualifying ties against Okzhetpes, PSV Eindhoven and Slavia Prague to reach the group stage and have started the new WSL season in top form with four wins from four, including victories over Chelsea and Manchester City.

But Barcelona are as good as ever. They have picked up where they left off last season have scored 25 goals in just their last three Liga Iberdrola games since the September international break alone.

Arsenal will be by far the toughest side they have faced since meeting Houston Dash in a pre-season competition in August. The Catalans, still cold at that stage from their summer, edged that one 3-2 against a team in full flow midway through season.

Also remember how they completely took Chelsea apart in last season’s Champions League final.

Prediction: Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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