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Arsenal Women to face FC Okzhetpes in Champions League

Arsenal have been drawn against the Kazakh side Okzhetpes in the first round of Champions League qualifying

UEFA Women’s Champions League 2021/22 Round 1 Draw Photo by Richard Juilliart - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Arsenal have been drawn with FC Okzhetpes in the first qualifying round for the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Both sids are in the League Path, where qualifying consists of four mini-tournaments with a semi-final, third-place match, and final. Arsenal will play Okzhetpes in the “semi-final” on August 18. According to reports, the mini-tournament will take place in Moscow. Okzhetpes are currently third in their championship, having been perennial runners-up in the six team league.

If Arsenal win, they will play the winner of PSV Eindhoven vs Lokomotiv Moscow in the final of the tournament, which would be on August 21. The winner then progresses to the second round of qualifying, which is a traditional two-legged playoff, where Arsenal will be unseeded, and could draw either powerhouses Lyon or Wolfsburg, or Slavia Prague or Rosengård. The winner of the play-off qualifies for the group stage of the Champions League.

Arsenal should be favourites to qualify from the first round, though qualification will be made tricky by the Olympics. Arsenal have nine players at this summer’s Olympic Games (Mana Iwabuchi, Caitlin Foord, Steph Catley, Lydia Williams, Leah Williamson, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Kim Little, Nikita Parris, and Vivianne Miedema), which doesn’t conclude until August 6.

All matches of this season and next season’s Women’s Champions League will be able to be streamed on YouTube, after DAZN secured the rights for the next four seasons in a record deal.