Women's Champions League: Glasgow City play boys teams to prepare for Moscow test

Rachel McLauchlan and Leanne Crichton celebrate as Glasgow City beat Rangers 4-0 on Sunday
Glasgow City beat Rangers 4-0 on Sunday

Glasgow City have been playing against boys' teams in preparation for their Champions League last-32 meeting with Chertanovo Moscow on Wednesday.

The Scottish champions have made a 2,000-mile trip to the Russian capital for the first leg.

And Scott Booth's side are expecting a tough assignment in Eastern Europe.

Midfielder Rachel McLauchlan said of their preparations: "It's boys teams, so it's always going to be tough, but it got us up to speed with everything."

City's youthful opponents played in a similar way to "a tough opponent physical wise and speed" they expect to face in Chertanovo.

"We put them into different formations, which is really good of them to do, so we could prepare for what we have will face out there," McLauchlan told BBC Scotland.

"The main thing is we want a clean sheet. To get an away goal is obviously a big advantage. But we're a team who wants to win games and we'll definitely be going out there to win."

One of McLauchlan's previous clubs, Hibernian, are also in Champions League action on Wednesday when they host Slavia Prague at Easter Road.

The 22-year-old has had to wait three years to get another crack at the competition after being part of a Hibs team that lost 10-1 on aggregate to Bayern Munich.

"It seems a while ago now," McLauchlan, who signed for City in the summer after a stint at Yeovil Town, said. "They were definitely challenging to say the least.

"Unfortunately I never made it to another Champions League game because I always managed to injure myself beforehand, so it's exciting to be back involved in the competition."

Hibernian need 'magnificent effort'

Hibs head coach Grant Scott admits his side will be big underdogs when they welcome Slavia to Leith.

The Czechs have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League in three of the last four seasons.

"I'm really excited, but it's all about the players and the club," Scott said. "It's a huge occasion for us. Regardless, we're relishing the challenge.

"They are one of the top sides in European women's football, so we have our work cut out for sure. The aim is that we're competitive right to the end. If fortune favours us, great, and it would be an unbelievable achievement for the players."

Hibs have won 10 of their 14 league games this season, as well as winning the last seven domestic knockout cup competitions, but Scott recognises the standard in Europe is far higher than what they face at home.

"The intensity level we get in the league week to week isn't always what it possibly could be or should be," he said. "But that's just the state of the game at the minute.

"You have to play what's in front of us and it has its own challenges, but when you're playing a side that's made the Champions League quarters three times out of the last four, that intensity level is going to be huge. It's going to take a magnificent effort for us to compete."

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