Chelsea Women are aiming to take a big step towards qualification from Champions League Group A with victory over Real Madrid tonight, and Emma Hayes knows not to take anything for granted against a side who knocked Manchester City out in qualifying.

The Blues have won both of our games so far, most impressively triumphing against PSG in the French capital on matchday one, while Real Madrid have four points and lie in second place in the group.

Chelsea are well placed to qualify ahead of tonight’s game at Kingsmeadow, which kicks off at 8pm, but Hayes is not looking too far ahead with our exit from the tournament in 2021 still in her mind.

‘After last year I don’t take anything for granted,’ she stressed.

‘They’re a team we haven’t played before, slightly different in their style compared to Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. They will come, look to be comfortable especially on the counter.

‘They have threats out wide, with [Caroline] Weir, whether she plays as a nine, or an inside seven or 11, and in [Athenea] Castillo they have a great one-v-one player.

‘But our focus and attention is on ourselves. We have become accustomed to being the favourite in every situation. The team are very driven by improving our details.

'It was a really good performance from the team on Sunday, we have got that little bit of momentum, and we’re playing at home, and nothing beats playing at home.’

Home tonight is Kingsmeadow. Hayes’ side enjoyed playing at Stamford Bridge in front of a sell-out crowd on Sunday, impressively dismantling Tottenham 3-0, but they are back at their usual base in Kingston for the visit of Real Madrid.

Hayes explained why the game is taking place in KT1 and not SW6.

‘We had conversations with the club about this. Selling out Sunday and doing the same on Wednesday… I don’t want 5000 turning up. It’s smart for us to pick the right games. Picking PSG [for Stamford Bridge] during a Christmas week, when kids are not at school, when people might not be at work, is the right opportunity to do it.

‘Playing in big stadiums you have to prepare properly to pick the right opponent in the right timings. There is a business cost to doing it. We might not sell out Kingsmeadow some games, and there might be some games that aren’t as easy to sell, so we stay at Kingsmeadow.’

In our previous home European fixture, the 8-0 win against Vllaznia last month, the visiting side from Albania brought a boisterous, sizeable away support who contributed to a fantastic atmosphere.

Specific areas for travelling supporters are still rare in this country, and Hayes expects it to become a permanent fixture before long.

‘It’s probably the thing I’ve screamed about the most, I’ve wanted the most,’ she said.

‘I have always felt we have to separate [fans] into certain sections. It creates atmosphere. For fans' safety it’s going to have to be that.

‘I remember watching the Arsenal-Man United game and seeing the Man United fans there in their numbers. This is what has to happen going forward.

‘Everything that is happening is a notch up from where the game has been. Inevitably this time next year it won’t be a conversation we’re having because those things will be in place.’