With the help of the AI-powered Opta supercomputer, we provide our UEFA Champions League match predictions for every game across each matchday.
The UEFA Champions League season in 2023-24 promises to be one of the best in recent memory.
Manchester City won their first ever UCL title in 2022-23 thanks to a 1-0 win over Internazionale, but can they become just the second club to retain the Champions League trophy after Real Madrid’s three successive titles between 2016 and 2018? With Europe’s biggest and best clubs competing, it’ll be a tough task.
Our AI-powered supercomputer will be making its Opta Predictions for every fixture over the course of what looks set to be an exciting UCL season.
Read on, as Opta Analyst provides its UEFA Champions League match predictions and be sure to check back here ahead of each matchday.
UEFA Champions League MD 4: The Quick Hits
- Opta’s supercomputer makes Real Madrid, Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Napoli big favourites in their respective matches.
- Jude Bellingham could become the first Real Madrid player in European Cup/Champions League history to score in each of his first four appearances.
- Barcelona have won their opening three Champions League games this season – they have only won their first four group games in two seasons, doing so in 2002-03 and 2020-21.
Matchday 4 of the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League is upon us, meaning we are heading into the business end of the group stage. MD 3 saw Paris Saint-Germain bounce back from their heavy defeat to Newcastle United by dispatching Milan, while Madrid star Jude Bellingham continued his remarkable run of form. Manchester United, meanwhile, claimed their first win of the campaign, while Borussia Dortmund came away from St James’ Park with all three points.
There’s sure to be more fanfare on MD 4, as some teams look to get their qualification officially secured.
Tuesday’s early games see Newcastle head to Dortmund, while Shakhtar Donetsk go up against Barcelona in Hamburg.
Newcastle suffered their first Group F defeat last time out when Dortmund ran out 1-0 winners, and Eddie Howe will be looking for a response at Signal Iduna Park. After Saturday’s 1-0 win over Arsenal, the Magpies go into the match with plenty of confidence – and that spirit will only be buoyed by the fact that BVB were hammered 4-0 in Der Klassiker by Bayern. That being said, Edin Terzic’s side – who are set to make their 150th Champions League appearance – are made the favourites (43.1%), with Newcastle, who are winless in their last two games against German sides in European competition (D1 L1), given a 32.1% chance of coming away with the points.
Shakhtar are given little chance by the model when they face Barcelona, with just a 12.1% chance of pulling off what would be a third win over the Blaugrana in eight meetings in the Champions League. Xavi’s side are well fancied, at 71.6%, and they have won their last four European matches against Shakhtar. Barcelona have won their opening three Champions League games this season – they have only won their first four group games in two seasons, doing so in 2002-03 and 2020-21. Due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the match will be played at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg, Germany. Barcelona have only faced a non-German team in a game played in Germany once before, beating Juventus 3-1 in the 2015 Champions League final in Berlin.
If there is a winner in the match between Dortmund and Newcastle, then Group F will have a new leader by the time Milan vs PSG kicks-off at San Siro. After their 3-0 win in the reverse outing, Luis Enrique’s side are made slight favourites for this one, with a 41.6% likelihood of victory compared to the Rossoneri’s 32.3%. Having won just two of their first 20 meetings with Italian sides in all competitions (D9 L9), PSG have now won their last four against Serie A opponents. Milan are winless and have failed to score in their last two UEFA Champions League home games, losing to Inter in last season’s semi-final (2-0) and drawing 0-0 with Newcastle last time out. They have never previously failed to score in three consecutive home games in the European Cup/Champions League.
Atlético Madrid are second in Group E, though Diego Simeone’s team did lose to Las Palmas in La Liga on Friday. Across the 10,000 simulations of their meeting with Celtic, though, the Opta supercomputer is handing Atléti a 71.2% chance of coming out on top. Celtic have lost their last six Champions League away games against Spanish sides, since a 1-1 draw at Barcelona in their first such match in November 2004. Antoine Griezmann has scored in his last two appearances in the competition. Despite netting 32 goals in 88 appearances overall, he’s never scored in three consecutive games in the competition.
The other Group E game promises to be a cracker, with Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio hosting Arne Slot’s Feyenoord, who top the group with six points. An entertaining encounter on matchday three finished 3-1 to the Eredivisie champions. Of the 16 matches this week, it’s this game that is most likely to finish all square, with little to choose between the sides (Lazio – 37.9%, Feyenoord – 36.2%). Lazio have won just one of their five European meetings with Feyenoord (D1 L3), though it was in their last such home game against them, 4-2 in last season’s UEFA Europa League. The Dutch team are looking to win three matches within the same group stage in a campaign in the competition for the first time since 1997-98.
The banker of MD 4 – at least according to our predictor – comes as Manchester City host Young Boys, with the holders’ likelihood of coming away with the points judged at a huge 89.2%. They head into Tuesday’s match having thrashed Bournemouth 6-1 in the Premier League. Erling Haaland wasn’t among the goals in that rout, but scored twice in the reverse fixture between these two teams in October. He has netted 24 goals in 20 Champions League group stage appearances, a record by a player in their first 20 such matches, but might not be able to feature here after coming off with an injury on Saturday.
Young Boys are winless in all five away matches in England in European competition (D2 L3), failing to beat four different teams in this run: Tottenham (L1), Liverpool (D1), Everton (L1) and Man Utd (D1 L1). In fact, the Swiss team, who are given just a miniscule 3.0% chance of winning, have never won an away Champions League game, and given City are on a 27-game unbeaten run at home in the competition, you would be brave to bet against Pep Guardiola’s side, who will progress to the last 16 with a win.
The other Group G game sees RB Leipzig take on Crvena Zvezda, with the predictor anticipating a win for the Bundesliga side (64.2%). Leipzig have won each of their last three away games in the group stage of the Champions League, with the most recent being a 3-1 win at Young Boys on MD 1 this season. They could win four consecutive away games in the group stage for the first time.
Porto, who are second in Group H, should also beat Antwerp, with the model having their chances at 68.3%; the Belgian side are given just a 13.2% chance of claiming their first win in the competition. Antwerp have conceded at least three goals in their three matches so far – only one team has ever lost their first four Champions League games all in this manner, with Willem II doing so in the 1999-00 season.
Real Sociedad face Benfica in one of Wednesday’s early games. La Real’s return to Europe’s top table has so far been a success, with the Basque team winning two of their three games and drawing the other to leave them top of Group D. Opta’s supercomputer grades their chances of victory at 49.9%, a win that would equal their longest ever winning run in the competition (September-October 1982). Benfica are propping up the group currently, bottom with three defeats in three without scoring a goal, only going on a longer losing run between March 2017 and September 2018 (eight matches). They have avoided defeat in each of their last three away games against Spanish sides in the Champions League, though.
The other early clash is Napoli vs Union Berlin. The Serie A champions won 1-0 away in the German capital on the last matchday, despite only attempting six shots and accumulating 0.25 xG (expected goals), both the lowest figures by a team to win a game in this season’s Champions League. They are back on home soil for the reverse fixture, a huge boost considering their record at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, where they have only lost one of their last 14 home Champions League fixtures.
They are huge favourites for this one at 66.6%. Union head to Naples having lost their last four European outings, their longest losing run in continental competition, one of only three teams not to have picked up a point in this season’s competition. In all competitions, they have lost a remarkable 12 games in a row, having been beaten 3-0 by Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
Galatasaray stunned Manchester United at Old Trafford on MD 2, but were then dispatched on home turf by Bayern Munich on MD 3, and the Bundesliga champions are heavily backed to get the job done in Munich. At 76.1% – a win likelihood bettered by only Man City this round – Bayern are predicted to have far too much for their Turkish opponents. They easily overcame Dortmund in Der Klassiker at the weekend, and have won each of their last six European Cup/UEFA Champions League games against Turkish sides by an aggregate score of 21-2. Galatasaray’s 9.5% chance of success is not as small as Young Boys’ against City, but they would have to pull off a shock to get the points. Harry Kane, meanwhile, will overtake Paul Scholes’ as the third-highest English goalscorer in Champions League history if he nets a brace (currently on 23, Scholes scored 24). He comes into this game on the back of a hat-trick against Dortmund, having also scored a treble the week before against Darmstadt. A Bayern win would see them through, and could even be enough to see them confirm top spot in Group A.
Elsewhere in that same group, Man Utd face Copenhagen, whose first ever Champions League win came against the Red Devils back in 2006. Despite their impressive performance in defeat at Old Trafford on MD 3, the Opta supercomputer does not have much faith they can get a win on Wednesday, rating the Danish side’s probability of victory at just 24.7%. United took the spoils 1-0 in the reverse fixture thanks to André Onana’s last-minute penalty save. but they have won just one of their last seven away matches in the Champions League. Despite that poor record, they are considered the more likely to be the victors on MD 4, winning 50.6% of Opta’s 10,000 simulations conducted ahead of the matches. Copenhagen have failed to win any of their last 10 meetings with English sides in European competition, and are given just a 24.7% chance of earning a draw in this one.
Having won 2-1 at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, Arsenal are backed to make it two wins in a row when they welcome Europa League holders Sevilla to the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners would move to within touching distance of progressing from Group B if Opta’s model proves correct, and they follow up on the 66.2% of the simulations they won by winning in reality, too. Sevilla have won just one of their 11 away games against English sides in all European competitions, and the Opta supercomputer thinks they have just a 15.1% chance of picking up their first away victory in the Champions League since December 2020, having failed to win any of their last eight away trips in the competition. It’s a tough ask, though, with Arsenal unbeaten at home in the group stage since September 2015 and having scored at least once in 25 of their last 26 games in the competition, including their last 14 group-stage matches at the Emirates.
The other Group B encounter sees second-placed Lens visit fourth-placed PSV Eindhoven, but it is the Eredivisie side who are made favourites. Out of the simulations, they came out on top in 52.4% of them. PSV have lost just one of their last seven meetings with French sides in all competitions (W2 D4), going down 2-1 at home to Monaco in the 2021-22 Europa League group stages. Lens have not lost any of the last seven Champions League matches in which they have conceded the first goal (W3 D4). Only Man Utd have had a longer such run in the competition’s history, doing so between March 1998 and September 1999 (eight games).
Real Madrid (74.7%) are expected to win with relative ease against Braga, who they beat 2-1 last time out. Jude Bellingham (who else?) netted Los Blancos’ winner in that previous meeting, and if he scores this time, he will be the first Madrid player to net in each of his first four European Cup/Champions League matches for the club. Only Rodrygo in 2019-20 (4) and Raúl in 1995-96 (six) have netted more than the England international (3) in a single edition of the tournament for the club while under the age of 21. Madrid have never lost at home to a Portuguese side in European competition, winning nine of the previous 10 such matches (D1), which goes some way to explaining why Braga’s chances are rated at just 9.6%.
Inter Milan, meanwhile, should return home from Austria with all three points. Opta’s model has them as 58.7% favourites against RB Salzburg, whose own chances are just 17.6%. The Nerazzurri have won all three of their meetings with Salzburg in European competition, beating them over two legs in the 1994 UEFA Cup final and 2-1 last time out in the Champions League. Salzburg opened their group stage campaign with a 2-0 win over Benfica but have since lost their last two. If they lose here, they will equal their longest losing run in the competition, which came back in November 2020 under Jesse Marsch (three games). Expect Lautaro Martinez to make an impact; eight of his 11 away goals for Inter in the competition have been scored away from home. Indeed, if he finds the net in this game, he will overtake Hernan Crespo (8) for the most away goals scored for the club in the competition.