This is the first time FC Bayern Women have had to qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Women’s Champions League in a qualifying round, in which they play a first and second leg as runners-up in the pre-season standings.
The games will take place on September 20th or 21st (in San Sebastián) and September 28/29 (in Munich).
From FCBayern.com, Bayern head coach Alexander Straus: “Real Sociedad is a good team, they were second last season, so it will be a good challenge for us. It will be an interesting game, but I think we have a good chance to qualify. That’s where we are optimistic and positive.”
Bayern sporting director Bianca Rech: “We are looking forward to the first encounter between FC Bayern and Real Sociedad. We expect, as with many Spanish teams, a team with a strong game that should not be underestimated.”
The Champions League draw for the group stage will comprise twelve teams, with eight having to qualify through this play-off round and four already seeded: defending champions Olympique Lyon and top league finishers FC Barcelona, VfL Wolfsburg, and Chelsea FC from Spain, Germany, and England, respectively.
Bayern’s competitive season will predate the Champions League play-off legs; Straus will be able to use the September 12 DFB-Pokal game against FC Ingolstadt as well as the Bundesliga season opener against Eintracht Frankfurt as tune-ups.
Last season, Bayern advanced to the quarter-finals before losing narrowly over two legs to Paris Saint-German. This year, Lea Schüller, Klara Bühl, Lina Magull, Giulia Gwinn and friends will be hoping to go much further — but they’ll have to get through Real Sociedad first to qualify.