Juventus vs Chelsea: Emma Hayes expecting 'epic battle' in Women's Champions League contest

Chelsea take on Juventus in Turin in the Women's Champions League on Wednesday; the Blues are two points behind the Italian champions after drawing their opening group game at home to Wolfsburg last week; Juventus are coached by former Arsenal Women boss Joe Montemurro

Emma Hayes
Image: Emma Hayes guided Chelsea to the Women's Champions League final last season

Emma Hayes says she is expecting an "epic battle" between Chelsea and Juventus in their Women's Champions League encounter on Wednesday night.

Hayes' side go into the game two points behind the Italian champions in Group A after drawing their opening match at home to Wolfsburg last week.

The clash will see her come up against former Arsenal Women manager Joe Montemurro for the first time since he ended his four-year spell in north London to take charge at Juventus in the summer.

And Hayes is looking forward to taking on her former rival again, saying: "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 [there is] 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."

Joe Montemurro takes charge of his final game as Arsenal Women head coach against Crystal Palace this weekend
Image: Joe Montemurro spent four years with Arsenal before joining Juventus in the summer

Hayes - who guided Chelsea to the Women's Champions League final last season - has also warned her side to expect a "tense atmosphere" in Turin for what could be a key game in deciding qualification for the knockout stages.

"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."

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But Hayes - whose side sit second in the Women's Super League - insists she and her players relish European nights, adding: "It's just another great game, we've already had good tests so far.

"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 backed up her manager's comments, saying: "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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