On Wednesday evening, Stamford Bridge will be home once more to Champions League football.
Chelsea won’t be led out by John Terry, though – Katie Chapman will do the honours as the 2015 double-winners step on to the pitch in the Women’s Champions League to face European giants Wolfsburg.
“It’s a privilege to be asked [to play at Stamford Bridge],” said full-back Claire Rafferty.
“Wolfsburg will bring quite a crowd.”
This won’t be the first time the teams have met, though; the German side knocked the Blues out of last year’s competition in the Round of 16, progressing 4-1 on aggregate en route to the final, where they lost on penalties to Lyon.
Chelsea are out for revenge.
“One of the main objectives at Chelsea is to play Champions League football year on year – that’s something that Emma Hayes has really made sure we’ve achieved,” added striker Eniola Aluko.
“You want to be pitting yourselves against the best teams in Europe. It’ll be a great game.”
Though 2015 was a glorious one for Chelsea, winning the double, this year has been less successful – losing at Wembley to Arsenal, knocked out of the Continental Tyres Cup on penalties by WSL2’s London Bees, and trailing far behind champions Manchester City in the league. The Champions League is their last chance for a trophy.
They are quietly confident that their two defeats at the hands of Wolfsburg last season has, in an odd way, prepared them well for this year.
“It’s nice to know what they’re about – we know where we went wrong last time, and we’ll use that experience to our advantage,” said Rafferty.
“We’re going in as underdogs once again, but experience of Champions League is priceless. This is our chance to prove ourselves.”
Chelsea play Wolfsburg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, October 5, kick-off 7pm.
Tickets are priced at £5 for adults and £3 for children, which can be purchased from www.chelseafc.com/tickets or by calling 0371 811 1905.
*Carrie Dunn is SHOOT’s Women’s Football correspondent. Her book ‘The Roar of the Lionesses: Women’s Football in England’ is out now – available in all good bookshops.*