Women's Champions League: Bristol unfazed by Barcelona

By Caroline ChapmanBBC Sport
Bristol bullish on Barcelona task

Boss Dave Edmondson says Bristol Academy will overcome the "amazement" of facing Barcelona in the last 16 of the Women's Champions League.

The Vixens travel to Barcelona for the away leg on Saturday before hosting the three-time Spanish domestic champions at Ashton Gate next week.

"We're not playing the Barcelona that everyone knows. We're not playing Lionel Messi, or those types of players," Edmondson told BBC Sport.

"We're just playing 11 other women."

Edmondson continued: "Yes - they're a very good side but I think we're a good side as well.

"We need to make sure the initial amazement goes, so that come Saturday, it's just a game versus 11 players."

Barcelona's one to watch?
Jennifer Hermoso Fuentes
Laura Del Rio, one of four Spanish players in Bristol Academy's squad, singled out fellow forward Jennifer Hermoso Fuentes as Barcelona's main threat: "She's a very technical player - you can never get the ball away from her. She always makes good decisions with the ball and is a very talented player."

Bristol Academy qualified for the Champions League for the second time in their history after finishing runners-up in the Women's Super League in 2013 - under former boss Mark Sampson, who is now in charge of England.

Edmondson replaced Sampson in February and, despite a disappointing seventh-place finish in the league, he led them to a 6-1 aggregate win over Raheny United to take them to the last 16 in Europe for the first time.

Barcelona, who play at the 15,000-capacity Mini Estadi situated opposite the Nou Camp, have won six domestic trophies in fours years and reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season.

"We know what we're going to face. There will be no surprises," added Edmondson.

"They've got lots of Spanish internationals. They've been successful and they're having another good season this year.

"We've worked all year on our game plan and style of play and we've got to go out there and do our jobs."