With a sell-out crowd of over 35,000 confirmed, free Women's Champions League Final streaming on YouTube and a historic matchup between Barcelona and Wolfsburg — two true giants of the competition — it doesn't get any better than the 2023 UWCL Final in Eindhoven.
There'll be a new champion this year after Lyon claimed the top prize (over Barça) in 2022, but the Catalans are aiming for their second title in three years after conquering Europe for the first time in 2021. Wolfsburg have won it twice (2013 and 2014), but the She-wolves have since lost their last three appearances in the final (2016, 2018 and 2020).
The match will also provide viewers with a look at some players who'll star at this summer's World Cup, which kicks off 47 days after the UWCL final.
Wolfsburg are loaded with footballers who represent Germany's national team, and they've also got three Dutch internationals (Jill Roord, Dominique Janssen and Lynn Wilms) who'll likely start against the USWNT on July 27.
Barcelona is a major supplier to Spain's national team, but they've also got two players who were just named in England's final World Cup squad (Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh) and Fridolina Rolfö, who started in Sweden's 2016 and 2021 Olympic victories over the U.S.
These two sides met in last year's semifinals with Barça dominating the first leg 5-1 in front of a record crowd of 91,648 at the Camp Nou, but Wolfsburg made things interesting by pulling two back at Volkswagen Arena for a final aggregate scoreline of 5-3. History goes out the window now.
How to watch the 2023 UEFA Women's Champions League Final
Barcelona vs. Wolfsburg | Philips Stadion (Eindhoven, Netherlands)
Date: Saturday, June 3 | Time: 10 a.m. ET
TV: CBS Sports Network | Streaming: DAZN UWCL YouTube channel
Referee: Cheryl Foster (Wales)
Predicted starting lineup: Sandra Paños; Fridolina Rolfö, Mapi León, Irene Paredes, Lucy Bronze; Patricia Guijarro, Keira Walsh, Aitana Bonmatí; Mariona Caldentey, Asisat Oshoala, Caroline Graham Hansen
Leading scorer: Aitana Bonmatí and Asisat Oshoala (5 goals)
Top creator: Aitana Bonmatí (7 assists)
X-factor: Alexia Putellas — The two-time Ballon d'Or winner hasn't made an appearance in the Champions League this season, but she returned from her ACL injury towards the end of the league campaign and registered 118 minutes and one goal. Putellas won't start the match, but she's an exciting option off the bench for manager Jonatan Giráldez.
Predicted starting lineup: Merle Frohms; Felicitas Rauch, Dominique Janssen, Kathrin Hendrich, Lynn Wilms; Jill Roord, Lena Oberdorf; Sveindís Jónsdóttir, Alexandra Popp, Svenja Huth; Ewa Pajor
Leading scorer: Ewa Pajor (8 goals)
Top creator: Sveindís Jónsdóttir and Svenja Huth (3 assists)
X-factor: Alexandra Popp — The 32-year-old legend is about to play in her seventh Champions League final, having lifted the trophy three times and scoring in both the 2014 and 2016 showpieces. Popp is the definition of a big game player.
2023 Women's Champions League Final prediction
By rolling to a fourth straight league title and once again reaching the UWCL final, Barcelona established themselves as the favorites in this one. Very few teams on the planet can match Barcelona's strength in midfield, but Wolfsburg is one of them.
"The best way is to not let Barcelona play," Popp says. "If they have the ball and start playing their tiki-taka football, and you're too late going in for a challenge, then it's really tough to get the ball."
Both sides also boast some of the game's most decisive players in the final third, so you wouldn't expect either team to defend a 1-0 lead.
"Wolfsburg have top-level players in every position, especially in midfield and up front," says Barça coach Giráldez. "They are unique players at creating spaces, they are unique in one-on-ones, at playing that final pass, at shooting."
I'm going with an upset: 2-1 in favor of Wolfsburg with goals from Pajor and Popp overcoming one from Oshoala.