Last season's UEFA Women's Cup winners FCR 2001 Duisburg will begin their bid to claim the new UEFA Women's Champions League against WFC Universitet Vitebsk of Belarus after the draws for the Round of 32 and 16 were made on Friday.
Duisburg, and 24 other league champions, enter the competition at this knockout stage, joined by seven qualifying round winners, all of who finished as runners-up in their countries last season. The European titleholders will go to Vitebsk on 30 September before their home leg on 7 October.
Among other ties in the Round of 32, last season's runners-up Zvezda-2005 take on ŽNK SFK 2000 Sarajevo, two-time European champions Umeå IK meet Ukraine's Zhilstroy-1 Kharkov. Former UEFA Women's Cup winners 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam and Arsenal LFC take on FC Honka Espoo and PAOK FC respectively, and having knocked out Norwegian runners-up Team Strømmen FK in the qualifying round, Everton LFC now meet that nation's champions, Røa IL.
Round of 16
The Round of 16 draw has also been made, and the winner of Duisburg's tie will meet Sweden's Linköpings FC or FC Zürich Frauen. Other potential match-ups, depending on Round of 32 results, include recent semi-finalists ASD CF Bardolino Verona against Olympique Lyonnais, Potsdam versus Brøndby IF and Montpellier Hérault SC meeting FC Bayern München, one of a record three German entrants.
Road to Madrid
That stage is played on 4 and 11 November and the eight winners go into the draw for the remainder of the competition at 12.00CET on 20 November. The quarter-finals are played on 10 and 17 March 2010 with the semis on 10/11 and 17/18 April. As part of the launch of the new expanded and rebranded UEFA Women's Champions League, the final will be a one-off fixture played two nights before the men's showpiece in the same city, meaning this season's competition will conclude in Madrid on Thursday 20 May. That is a target for Spanish entrants Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, who must overcome Russian team WFC Rossiyanka in the Round of 32.