WHEN AND WHERE?
The game will take place on Thursday 11 March at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, with a kick-off time of 13:00 (UK, 14:00 CET).
The match will be available to watch live to CITY+ subscribers* while the action is also being screened by BT Sport. You can also keep up to date with all the action via our Matchday Centre or Twitter account: @ManCityWomen.
*Excluding Israel, Australia and Mexico.
Should the tie remain level after two legs, the winner will be determined by the 'away goals' rule.
For safety reasons in the wake of the pandemic, the fixture will be played behind-closed-doors.
In line with current protocols, additional balls will be placed at intervals around the pitch.
Referee: Esther Staubli (SUI)
Referee Assistants: Susann Küng (SUI), Emilie Aubry (SUI)
Fourth official: Michèle Schmölzer (SUI)
City return to European action in superb form, having won each of our last nine FA Women's Super League matches - the latest a hard-fought 1-0 win over Everton on Sunday.
We secured our passage through to the last 16 of the UEFA Women’s Champions League thanks to a 5-1 aggregate victory over Goteborg FC in the round of 32 in December.
Fiorentina eliminated Slavia Praha 3-2 on aggregate in the Round of 32, thanks to Daniele Sabatino's late strike.
In the Women’s Serie A, the Italian outfit had been on an impressive run of form and - unbeaten in the league during 2021 - before succumbing to successive defeats to Florentia and Sassulo either side of our Champions League first leg clash.
The World Cup winners were named on the bench in Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Everton with Lavelle introduced om 68 minutes, having struggled to build a consistent run of games due to injury throughout the campaign.
Without a weekend game and holding a 3-0 lead from the first leg, Taylor was asked in his pre-match press conference whether he would be inclined to ring the changes, such as reintroducing the American duo into the starting line-up.
The City boss replied he had been yet to decide on his team selection but added that whoever was chosen, there would be no drop in standards or ability.
GARETH TAYLOR PREVIEW
“We need to be aware [that they have to go for it],” he added. “Sometimes, when you have nothing to lose, teams can come out and be braver.
“The last three teams we’ve played in all competitions have been difficult to break down with a low block. It could come that way and be a case of damage limitation but they could also come out and really go for it.
“We need to be alive and aware of that, and I’m sure we will be.
“It’s deemed a good scoreline to have in the first leg – home or away – which is great, and it’s really exciting to be able to travel to Florence. We’re very fortunate for that to happen and we’re looking forward to the game.
“These games are extra special and the players would agree. It’s a different format, more tactical and more thought goes in, in between games in terms of what’s required.”
The blue touch paper was lit just 90 seconds into the game when Hemp headed home Chloe Kelly’s cross from the right, before White doubled the lead with a typically clinical first-time finish two minutes later.
Substitute Sam Mewis added further gloss to the scoreline by heading home a third in the 89th minute, handing Gareth Taylor's side a healthy advantage going into next Thursday's second leg in Florence.
LAST TIME OUT
While it may not have been emphatic, our ninth WSL victory in a row was a true test of our title credentials, and one that we passed with flying colours.
It was also a perfect demonstration of perseverance and a will to win that has become synonymous with our captain as she reached a memorable double century in City colours.
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