Manchester City Women have been drawn against Tomiris Turan in the first qualifying round of the Champions League, and a win against the Kazakhstan side could potentially see them face last season’s conqueror’s Real Madrid.
After a tumultuous start to last season, an amazing run in the second half of the season saw City finish third and sneak into the Champions League at the expense of Manchester United. The blues won 4-0 at Reading to secure their place, while the reds were beaten 4-2 by eventual champions Chelsea.
But it was a surprise home defeat to Real last September that kicked off City’s problems. After drawing 1-1 in Spain, City were expected to complete qualification to the group stage, but suffered a shock 1-0 defeat in the return leg.
City struggled to recover from that defeat, losing at home in the WSL to Spurs and West Ham, and were also on the receiving end of a 5-0 thrashing at Arsenal as the blues tried to recover the form that had pushed Chelsea all the way the season before.
Real, meanwhile, will need to navigate past Austrian side Sturm Graz in their first stage qualifying match if they are to set up a potential match against the blues.
All four teams were drawn together in group 4 of the league path, and if City win both their matches, they will progress to a two-legged knockout round for a place in the Champions League group stage. Round two could see the blues face the runners-up from either France, Germany, Spain, Sweden or the Czech Republic.
The two-match mini-tournament takes place in August, with City’s match against Tomiris Turan being played on the 18th, with the final, should City get past the Kazak side, being played three days later.