by Jamil Salih
WALES ever-presents Sophie Ingle and Jess Fishlock will go from national team colleagues to club football opponents in next month’s UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-finals.
The pair have been Wales teammates since 2009, but next month, they will be pitted against one another, in a high stakes Women’s Champions League semi-final for respective clubs Chelsea and Olympique Lyonnaise.
Wales manager Jayne Ludlow won the 2007 Women’s Champions League with Arsenal and ahead of her side’s friendly against Czech Republic, she offered her thoughts on Ingle and Fishlock’s achievements.
“Currently, I’m the only Welsh female who has been in a Champions League environment and that has to change and that is going to change.
“It’s great to see two Welsh internationals in the Champions League final.” she added.
Wales captain Ingle and former captain Fishlock, who, in 2017, became the first Welsh player (male or female) to amass over 100 appearances for the national team, will first face off on Saturday April 20/Sunday April 21 in France.
The second leg of the semi-final will take place on the following week at Chelsea’s home, Kingsmeadow.
The winners will face Bayern Munich or Barcelona in the final at Budapest’s Ferencváros Stadium on Saturday May 18 in what is due to be a historic moment for women’s football. The final is to be held in a separate city to the men’s final, which is to be held in Madrid on Saturday June 1, for the first time.
“Right now, Lyon are the favourites but Chelsea are a very good team with a very good manager, it’s an exciting game,” added Ludlow
“It’s unfortunate they can’t both be on the pitch in the final but one of them is definitely going to get there.
“At the moment I am not sure who I would put the money on.”
However, two weeks before the tie gets underway in Lyon, the Wales duo will once again team up as they welcome Czech Republic to Rodney Parade for a friendly match as Jayne Ludlow looks ahead to the UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 qualifiers which begin in August.
The Wales boss will be hoping that Ingle and Fishlock return to their respective clubs fresh off the back of a victory over Czech Republic.