Two of Europe’s biggest clubs meet at the Allianz Arena in the opening matchweek of the new UEFA Champions League season on Wednesday night. Here’s our Bayern Munich vs Manchester United prediction and preview.
Bayern Munich vs Manchester United: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer predicts that Bayern Munich are the most likely winners of this match (59.0%).
- Bayern are unbeaten in their last 34 UCL group stage games, winning the last 13 in a row – both are competition records.
- If Man Utd lose this game, they’ll have lost as many as four of their opening six competitive matches to a season for the first time since 1986-87 under Ron Atkinson.
Bayern Munich start their 16th consecutive season in the UEFA Champions League with a tricky home game against Manchester United on Wednesday evening. This will be their 283rd UCL match overall, with only Real Madrid (304 before this week) having played more in the competition.
The record German champions made it to the quarter-finals of the UCL last season, before being dumped out by eventual winners Manchester City over two legs (4-1 on aggregate).
United return to UEFA Champions League action after a season in the UEFA Europa League in 2022-23. Their last UCL campaign in 2021-22 saw them knocked out in the last 16 by Atlético Madrid.
Both sides should be hopeful of progressing from Group A, having been drawn with Turkish champions Galatasaray and Danish side FC København. Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag will hope to replicate his performance as coach of Ajax in 2021-22, when he guided them to six wins in six group stage games with an aggregate score of 20-5.
Bayern Munich vs Manchester United Head-to-Head
This will be the 12th competitive meeting between Bayern Munich and Manchester United – all of the previous 11 have also come in the UEFA Champions League. Five of those were with Bayern as the home side, a fixture the Germans have never lost (W3 D2).
Overall, Man Utd have only lost more UCL games versus Barcelona (five) than they have suffered against Bayern (four), although they’ll have fond memories of the 1999 UCL final in Barcelona, which the English side won 2-1 with two last-gasp goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
The last meeting between these sides came in the Champions League quarter-finals back in 2013-14. After a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in the first leg, during which Bastian Schweinsteiger scored an equaliser before being sent off in stoppage time, Bayern won the second leg at the Allianz Arena 3-1. Mario Mandžukić, Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben scored their goals, to cancel out Patrice Evra’s opener.
European action might prove to be welcome respite for Manchester United after suffering as many as three defeats in their first five games of a league campaign for the first time since 1989-90 under Sir Alex Ferguson. Losses to Tottenham, Arsenal and Brighton have overshadowed their unconvincing one-goal wins over Wolves and Nottingham Forest at home.
United haven’t lost as many as four of their first six competitive matches of a season since 1986-87 under Ron Atkinson, who was sacked 17 games into the season and replaced by Ferguson.
Bayern Munich come into this game after Friday’s entertaining 2-2 home draw with Bayer Leverkusen, the only team to be ranked above them in the Bundesliga table after four matchweeks, with Bayern second on goal difference.
England captain Harry Kane has scored four goals in his first four league matches at Bayern following his move from Spurs this summer. Kane has been directly involved in seven goals in his last 10 appearances against Man Utd (four goals and three assists), although he’s not ended on the winning side in any of his last five games against them, losing four of those (D1).
Bayern are unbeaten in their last 34 Champions League group stage games (W31 D3), winning the last 13 in a row. Both are the longest such runs in the history of the competition’s group stage. They have also scored in 40 successive home games at this stage of the UCL, since a 2-0 defeat to Ligue 1 club Bordeaux in November 2009.
In the current format of the Champions League (since 2003-04), Bayern have progressed to the knockout rounds in all 19 of their appearances in the competition. They last fell at the first hurdle in 2002-03.
The Red Devils have been eliminated from the group stages of the Champions League in two of their six campaigns since Ferguson retired in 2013 (33%), having gone out at the first-round in just three of their 18 campaigns under the Scot (17%).
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off in this UCL game, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides:
Bayern Munich vs Manchester United Prediction
Bayern Munich are predicted to win this match against Manchester United by the Opta supercomputer, with the Bundesliga champions winning 59% of the pre-match simulations.
United’s chance of picking up an excellent win in Munich is rated at just over one-in-five (20.4%), with the draw – a result Man Utd would surely be happy with – being given a 20.6% chance.
Both of these clubs are tipped to make it to the knockout stage by the Opta supercomputer. Bayern are the favourites to progress from Group A (91.1%), while United follow them with a 73.6% probability of making the round of 16. Galatasaray (26%) and FC København (9.2%) are deemed the outsiders to make the last 16 in Group A.
Overall, Bayern are the second favourites to win the UEFA Champions League this season with the Opta supercomputer (10.9%), behind only reigning Premier League and Champions League title holders Manchester City (38.9%). United won the UCL in 3.3% of the pre-tournament simulations, which is more than Barcelona (3.2%) but less than seven clubs in total: Man City, Bayern, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Napoli and RB Leipzig.
Bayern Munich vs Manchester United UCL Squads
Bayern Munich: Manuel Neuer, Daniel Peretz, Sven Ulreich, Dayot Upamecano, Kim Min-jae, Matthijs de Ligt, Bouna Sarr, Raphaël Guerreiro, Tarek Buchmann, Noussair Mazraoui, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sané, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Alphonso Davies, Konrad Laimer, Jamal Musiala, Serge Gnabry, Harry Kane, Kingsley Coman, Thomas Müller, Mathys Tel.
Head Coach: Thomas Tuchel
Manchester United: Altay Bayındır, Tom Heaton, André Onana, Victor Lindelöf, Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martínez, Tyrell Malacia, Sergio Reguilón, Raphaël Varane, Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Jonny Evans, Sofyan Amrabat, Mason Mount, Bruno Fernandes, Christian Eriksen, Casemiro, Jadon Sancho, Facundo Pellistri, Scott McTominay, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Rasmus Højlund, Antony.
Head Coach: Erik ten Hag