Pep Guardiola’s men will look to seal Group G’s top spot in the Champions League at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday. We look ahead with our data-powered Manchester City vs RB Leipzig preview and prediction.
Manchester City vs RB Leipzig: The Quick Hits
- Manchester City are strongly predicted to win their home game against RB Leipzig, taking all three points in 70.2% of the Opta supercomputer’s 10,000 simulations.
- Despite only playing 146 minutes in the competition so far this term, no player has completed more take-ons than Jérémy Doku (17) through the UEFA Champions League’s first four matchdays.
- No player has created more chances than Leipzig’s David Raum in the Champions League this season (15), while he also has the highest expected assists total in the competition (2.1 xA and two assists).
Manchester City can guarantee a first-place finish in Group G when they welcome RB Leipzig to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
Both City and Leipzig are already through to the Champions League‘s knockout stages, with the hosts needing just a draw from the teams’ clash on Tuesday to secure top spot.
Leipzig are up against it if they are to somehow supplant Pep Guardiola’s men at the top of Group G, needing to beat City at the Etihad Stadium – where they are unbeaten in their last 28 home Champions League games – to keep their hopes alive into the final matchday.
This fixture will bring back some haunting memories, too, with Leipzig battered 7-0 last time they came to the Etihad in March 2023 for last season’s round-of-16 second leg. That remains the joint-biggest margin of victory for Guardiola in a Champions League match (three times), as well as Man City’s joint-biggest win in European competition (also 7-0 v Schalke in March 2019).
The sight of Erling Haaland in City’s lineup will also strike fear into Leipzig, with the prolific Norway international having scored more goals against the Bundesliga side than against any other team in his club career, netting 11 times in seven appearances. Leipzig are also the only team Haaland has scored five goals against in a single game in his club career, doing so in that 7-0 win earlier this year.
City should come into the game full of confidence, unbeaten in their last 17 games in the Champions League (W12 D5), with their last such defeat coming in May 2022 against Real Madrid (semi-final, second leg). In the history of the Champions League, Manchester United are the only English team to have had a longer unbeaten run (25 games between September 2007 and May 2009).
The performances of Xavi Simons should give Leipzig fans hope, though, with no Leipzig player boasting more than the 20-year-old’s 14 goal involvements in all competitions this season. The Netherlands international leads the Bundesliga with seven assists and has been hugely impressive during his loan from Paris Saint-Germain.
Simons has scored in his last two Champions League games for Leipzig (two goals). Only one Dutch player aged under 21 has scored in three consecutive appearances in the competition, with Patrick Kluivert doing so for Ajax in 1995 (aged 19).
Haaland was a doubt for the 1-1 draw with Liverpool, but ended up playing and scoring and will likely start again on Tuesday. Jack Grealish missed that game through illness but should return, though Kevin De Bruyne is still a while away from being fit with his hamstring injury. Matheus Nunes and Mateo Kovacic are both doubtful.
Marco Rose, meanwhile, will definitely be without the services of El Chadaille Bitshiabu, Dani Olmo and Willi Orbán, while Peter Gulacsi, Benjamin Sesko and Timo Werner all face a race against time to be fit for Tuesday’s kick-off.
Manchester City vs RB Leipzig Head-to-Head
This will be City’s sixth UEFA Champions League match against Leipzig, winning three of the previous five (D1 L1). On home soil, they have won 6-3 (September 2021) and 7-0 (March 2023).
Leipzig have lost their last four away Champions League matches in England by an aggregate score of 20-3. They are looking for their first away win in England since February 2020, when they won 1-0 against Spurs.
In that aforementioned 7-0 victory in March, Haaland became just the third player to score five goals in a single Champions League game after Luiz Adriano in October 2014 (Shakhtar Donetsk vs BATE Borisov) and Lionel Messi in March 2012 (Barcelona vs Bayer Leverkusen).
City’s draw with Liverpool took them to seven games unbeaten in all competitions, only failing to score in two matches so far this season, 1-0 defeats against Newcastle United and Arsenal in the EFL Cup and Champions League.
Leipzig’s 2-1 Bundesliga defeat away at Wolfsburg on Saturday was their third in five outings in all competitions, which comes as hardly ideal preparation for the daunting trip that lies ahead of them on Tuesday.
However, Leipzig have won both of their away games in the Champions League this season (3-1 vs Young Boys, 2-1 vs Crvena Zvezda), and could equal their longest winning streak away from home in the competition with a shock victory here (previously three games between November 2017 and November 2019).
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 RB Leipzig Prediction
The Opta supercomputer is backing Manchester City as big favourites to secure first place in Group G with a win on Tuesday, clinching top spot with a victory in 70.2% of the 10,000 simulations conducted ahead of MD 5.
Leipzig pull off the shock and take the three points just 12.5% of the time, while they are given a 17.3% chance of coming away from the Etihad Stadium with a draw.
While both City and Leipzig have made it to the round of 16, the two teams are given drastically different chances of making it to the latter stages. The reigning champions are given a 29.5% chance of going on and retaining their title – favourites ahead of Bayern Munich (16.6%) and Real Madrid (13.5%) – but Leipzig make it to the final in just 7.9% of simulations, winning the Champions League for the first time just 3% of the time.