Pep Guardiola’s men could secure their place in the UEFA Champions League last 16 at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday. We look ahead with our data-powered Manchester City vs Young Boys prediction and preview.
Manchester City vs Young Boys: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer has Manchester City as massive favourites at home to Young Boys on Tuesday, giving them an 89.2% probability of securing their place in the Champions League knockout stages with a victory.
- Man City are unbeaten in their last 27 home games in the Champions League (25 wins, two draws).
- Rodri has completed the most passes (302) and has progressed the ball the second furthest with carries (663 metres) in the Champions League this season.
A win at home to Young Boys on Tuesday will see Champions League holders Manchester City clinch their spot in the last 16 with two games to spare and boost their prospects of topping Group G.
City are one of just four teams who head into Matchday 4 looking to defend a 100% record in this season’s Champions League. Victory would see Guardiola’s men win their first four group games for a third time and become only the fourth reigning champions to make such a good start to their title defence.
All three wins in this campaign have come by a 3-1 scoreline with City dominant despite not yet reaching top gear, currently holding the highest possession average in the competition this term (70.6%) and having completed 90.2% of their passes under pressure, the most of any side.
Young Boys, meanwhile, have lost two of their three games in Group G – drawing the other against Crvena Zvezda – and sit third, five points behind RB Leipzig in second. That gap means a third-placed finish and Europa League qualification may be the best Raphaël Wicky’s men can realistically hope for.
City’s potency in attack could be particularly troublesome for Young Boys, who hold the Champions League record for most games in the competition without ever keeping a clean sheet (15). Wicky’s side have faced the second-most attempts (67) and joint-most shots on target (32) of any side in the group stages this season, statistics that will have Guardiola’s attackers fancying their chances of getting on the scoresheet.
The Swiss side have never won away from home in the Champions League either, drawing twice and losing five of seven games on their travels. They’ve avoided defeat in their last two away games in the competition, though, including the last time they came to Manchester, drawing 1-1 at Old Trafford against Manchester United in the 2021-22 season.
Meschack Elia has scored three goals in nine Champions League appearances for Young Boys, netting in three different games and ending on the losing side in all three. He’s only the third player to end on the losing side in the first three games he’s scored in the competition.
No player has scored more goals than Julián Álvarez’s three in this season’s Champions League, and his presence could be even more vital on Tuesday with Erling Haaland an injury doubt after going off injured in the 6-1 league win over Bournemouth at the weekend. The prolific Norwegian has scored 24 goals in 20 Champions League group-stage outings, a record by a player in his first 20 appearances in the pool phase.
Kevin De Bruyne is not expected back in the lineup until 2024 due to his hamstring injury, while Sergio Gómez is also set for a spell on the sidelines having picked up a knock in training prior to the Cherries thumping. If Haaland cannot feature against Young Boys, Álvarez will likely move into his spot up top with Phil Foden adopting the number 10 role, while Jérémy Doku, who had a hand in five of City’s six goals against Bournemouth, could continue on the left wing.
For Wicky, Kastriot Imeri and Lukasz Lakomy are both out injured, while Mohamed Ali Camara will have to be cautious, one yellow away from a one-match suspension that would rule him out of the MD5 home game against Crvena Zvezda.
Manchester City vs Young Boys Head-to-Head
The 3-1 win for City at the Wankdorf Stadium in October was the first ever meeting between the sides. City have won two of their three Champions League games against Swiss teams, although both wins were away from home.
At the Etihad, Guardiola’s men suffered a 2-1 defeat to Swiss Super League side Basel in March 2018, a result masterminded by current Young Boys manager Wicky, and he will be hoping to replicate that achievement this week.
In European competition, Young Boys are winless in all five away matches in England (D2 L3), failing to beat four different teams in this run: Tottenham (L1), Liverpool (D1), Everton (L1) and Manchester United (D1 L1).
City are unbeaten at home in 27 Champions League games, and only one English team has ever had a longer run without a home defeat in the competition, with Liverpool going 30 home games without a loss between 1976 and 2001 (26 wins, four draws).
Both City and Young Boys have scored in every game of their Champions League campaigns, though the disparity between the teams has come in defence, where Guardiola’s men have conceded on just three occasions while the Swiss side have let in eight.
City head into Tuesday’s match on a run of four straight wins in all competitions, including a 3-0 derby victory over Man Utd, while Young Boys are also coming off back-to-back successes.
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 on Tuesday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Manchester City vs Young Boys Prediction
City are the biggest favourites across the 16 Champions League group-stage matches this week, with Opta’s supercomputer rating their chances of a victory that would secure progression into the last 16 at an incredible 89.2%.
Young Boys are not fancied to come away with anything, though the draw happens in 7.8% of the 10,000 simulations conducted ahead of MD4. The away victory is considered very unlikely, with Wicky’s men taking all three points just 3% of the time.
Guardiola’s men are also big favourites to retain their title, going on to lift the trophy again in 32.3% of simulations, with competitors such as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich given 13.2% and 11.7% probabilities respectively of snatching it away from City. On the other hand, Young Boys are given just a 1.1% likelihood of making it out of the group, with only Crvena Zvezda, Union Berlin and Antwerp rated as less likely to make the last 16.
Manchester City vs Young Boys UCL Squads
Manchester City: Stefan Ortega, Ederson, Scott Carson, Kyle Walker, Rúben Dias, John Stones, Nathan Aké, Sergio Gómez, Joško Gvardiol, Manuel Akanji, Kalvin Phillips, Mateo Kovačić, Jack Grealish, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Matheus Nunes, Phil Foden, Erling Haaland, Jérémy Doku, Julián Álvarez.
Coach: Pep Guardiola
Young Boys: David von Ballmoos, Dario Marzino, Leandro Zbinden, Mohamed Camara, Aurèle Amenda, Loris Benito, Fabian Lustenberger, Ulisses Garcia, Noah Persson, Lewin Blum, Saidy Janko, Cheikh Niasse, Sandro Lauper, Miguel Chaiwa, Lukasz Lakomy, Darian Males, Donat Rrudhani, Kastriot Imeri, Filip Ugrinic, Ebrima Colley, Malik Deme, Meschack Elia, Cedric Itten, Jean-Pierre Nsame, Joël Monteiro, Silvere Ganvoula
Coach: Raphaël Wicky