Sam Kerr will face the toughest test of her season when she aims to lead Chelsea to victory over FC Barcelona in the UEFA Women’s Champions League final on May 17.
WATCH Matildas superstar Sam Kerr in the UEFA Women's Champions League Final as Chelsea face Barcelona LIVE, FREE and in HD on SBS and live streamed via SBS On Demand on Monday May 17 from 4:30am (AEST).
With each goal, and there’s been plenty of them, the Australian public becomes increasingly aware of just how good Sam Kerr has been this season up against some of the best players in the world, whether in the English Women’s Super League or the Champions League.
However, going into the final, the Australian public should also be aware of how good the Barcelona team are that she's coming up against.
In the league, Barca have won 25 of the 25 matches they’ve played. In doing so, they have scored 127 goals - an average of 5.08 per game - and conceded just five.
Five. All season. Five.
In the Champions League, certainly a more competitive competition, Barca have won their four ties with an aggregate of 24-6.
Barcelona have heavily increased their investment in women’s football and under coach Lluís Cortés they’ve achieved an incredible record.
In the 90 matches Cortes has been in charge they've won 81 of them. They’ve lost just six times.
They’ve scored 341 goals and conceded just 40.
They’ve won four trophies and after beating PSG in the semi-final have reached their second final.
Matildas fans might remember two of Barca’s attackers with fear.
Lieke Martens, the highly skillful Dutch left-winger, recently scored against Australia in the Matildas 5-0 loss to the Netherlands.
Martens also picked up the Best FIFA Women’s Player award in 2017.
On the other wing is an equally fearsome prospect - Norway’s Caroline Graham Hansen.
Hansen terrorised the Matildas in their round of 16 clash at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Playing in between those two is the fearsome false nine of Jennifer Hermoso, who has 21 goals in 19 league games this season.
Sam Kerr will see a familiar face in Barcelona’s midfield - Barca’s captain Vicky Losada played with Kerr for Western New York Flash in 2014.
As is the Barca style - this team likes to dominate possession and play with a high defensive line - something that may play into the hands of Kerr who likes to use her impressive speed to run in behind the defence.
However, it is likely that Chelsea will not see too much of the ball and will have to rely on the counter-attack and set pieces for chances.
Chelsea coach Emma Hayes will presumably demand Kerr help disrupt Barcelona building up their possession by cutting off the lines of passing from the centre-backs into midfield.
No doubt it will be an exception final between two top teams.