Champions League Matchday 4: Game-by-Game Preview, Predictions and Odds
As the floodlights flare up across Europe, the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League group stage crosses the halfway line, signaling the start of Matchday 4’s exhilarating clashes. It’s a pivotal moment in the tournament where the stakes are high and every team is vying to leave a mark on the prestigious competition. From tactical battles to individual brilliance, get ready to dive deep into each of the 16 fixtures as we preview what to expect from the upcoming encounters.
Will the giants of the game continue to dominate, or will we witness the underdogs crafting memorable upsets? Strap in for a comprehensive game-by-game preview that brings you the heartbeat of the action and the stories set to unfold.
Tuesday 7 November
Dortmund vs Newcastle (18:45)
As the clock ticks towards an 18:45 kickoff, Dortmund and Newcastle, tied with four points each, brace for a pivotal European clash in Germany. The teams are remarkably evenly matched, a sentiment echoed by Dortmund’s Nico Schlotterbeck, who hinted at a stroke of fortune in their previous meeting and emphasized their strength in head-to-head combat. Conversely, Newcastle, with their top-tier Premier League scoring record, are set to put Dortmund’s defense through its paces, with Kieran Trippier candid about the team’s need to step up their game.
After a narrow defeat to Dortmund in their last outing, Eddie Howe’s Newcastle are eyeing a strong comeback at Signal Iduna Park, bolstered by a recent win over Arsenal and undeterred by Dortmund’s setback in a 4-0 defeat to Bayern. With the home side poised to celebrate their 150th Champions League game, the odds tilt in favor of Dortmund at 43.1%, whereas Newcastle’s recent record against German opposition gives them a 32.1% chance of snatching the points. Considering these statistics and the teams’ current form, our prediction leans towards a Dortmund win @ 2.30, recognizing their slight edge as favorites and the competitive nature of the fixture. Alternatively, considering the well-matched nature of the teams, a draw @ 3.40 could also provide value for a more conservative betting approach.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Barcelona (18:45)
In Marino Pušić’s managerial debut, the Ukrainian team gave Barcelona a run for their money, and Pušić is confident that Shakhtar Donetsk is already manifesting his strategic vision on the field. He emphasizes the need for Shakhtar to play quality football, maintain high pressure, and assert their style of play, highlighting the bravery they exhibited in tough moments. Xavi Hernández of Barcelona anticipates a repeat of the competitive spirit from Shakhtar, recognizing their desire to contest every ball and their technical proficiency.
Statistical models give Shakhtar a slim 12.1% chance of securing what would be their third victory over Barcelona in their eighth Champions League encounter. Barcelona, with a strong 71.6% likelihood, has triumphed in their last four European matches against Shakhtar. Notably, Barcelona has enjoyed a perfect start to their Champions League campaign, mirroring successful beginnings in the 2002-03 and 2020-21 seasons. With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the match has been relocated to Volksparkstadion in Hamburg, Germany, a venue where Barcelona has only once before faced a non-German side, defeating Juventus in the 2015 Champions League final.
With this backdrop, Ferran Torres of Barcelona carries an impressive record, having scored in nine Champions League group stage matches and never losing when scoring. Taking into account these factors, our prediction points to a Barcelona win @ 1.40, acknowledging their dominant form and historical advantage. However, for those seeking higher risk and reward, a draw @ 5.00 could offer significant value given Shakhtar’s demonstrated resilience and tactical growth under Pušić.
Atlético de Madrid vs Celtic (21:00)
Atlético Madrid had a challenging task securing a 2-2 draw in their previous encounter with the Scottish side, prompting Diego Simeone to push for a more courageous approach in creating scoring chances. Brendan Rodgers’ team, while in a tough spot in their group, draw optimism from midfielder Matt O’Riley, who sees a trend of improvement with each game.
Currently positioned second in Group E, Atlético Madrid’s recent loss to Las Palmas in La Liga has not swayed the Opta supercomputer, which gives them a 71.2% chance to win in the upcoming clash with Celtic. History shows Celtic struggling in away Champions League matches against Spanish teams, with a string of six losses since a draw at Barcelona in 2004. Antoine Griezmann, scoring in his last two Champions League matches, aims to break his record and score in three consecutive games.
With this context and considering Atlético’s strong record against Scottish teams, only losing once in ten encounters, our prediction leans towards an Atlético Madrid win @ 1.50. Alternatively, for those looking at past draw scenarios and expecting a resilient performance from Celtic, a draw @ 4.50 could be a strategic bet.
Lazio vs Feyenoord (21:00)
Pedro Rodríguez has sounded a call to action for Lazio after their 3-1 defeat to Feyenoord, acknowledging the strength and skill of the opposition while emphasizing the necessity for a stronger approach in Champions League matches. Goalkeeper Justin Bijlow of Feyenoord anticipates a more formidable Lazio team in their next meeting, stressing the need for constant vigilance in the competition.
In what’s shaping up to be a thrilling Group E match, Lazio, under the guidance of Maurizio Sarri, will host the group leaders Feyenoord, managed by Arne Slot. The previous clash was a spectacle, ending in Feyenoord’s favor. Statistically, the upcoming match is poised to be one of the week’s closest contests, with Lazio at a 37.9% win probability and Feyenoord closely behind at 36.2%. Lazio’s track record with Feyenoord in Europe is mixed, with one win in five encounters but that win coming from their last home game against the Dutch side. Feyenoord, meanwhile, is aiming to secure a third group stage win, a feat not achieved since the 1997-98 season.
Lazio’s consistent scoring in their last 15 Champions League group stage matches adds another layer of intrigue to the prediction. With the odds and historical context considered, our prediction is a Lazio win @ 2.10, reflecting the tight odds and the possibility of Lazio leveraging their home advantage. However, for those considering the evenly matched nature of the two sides, a draw @ 3.25 presents a compelling bet.
Milan vs Paris (21:00)
Milan’s midfielder Yunus Musah remains hopeful despite a 3-0 loss to Paris, highlighting the team’s potential and the need to capitalize on created opportunities. Paris, with rising star 17-year-old Warren Zaïre-Emery exemplifying their youthful vigor, are finding their rhythm, determined to claim a victory in their upcoming match.
The dynamics within Group F could shift dramatically with a decisive result in the Dortmund vs Newcastle match, which could lead to a new group leader just as Milan prepares to face PSG at San Siro. Following a convincing win in their last match, Luis Enrique’s Parisian side enters as modest favorites with a 41.6% chance of victory over Milan’s 32.3%. Despite a historical struggle against Italian teams, PSG’s recent form shows four consecutive wins against Serie A clubs. Milan, however, are seeking to reverse a winless trend at home in the Champions League, having not scored in their last two matches at San Siro.
Considering these factors and the urgent need for Milan to break their scoring drought, our prediction leans towards a PSG win @ 2.05, recognizing their upward trajectory and Milan’s recent struggles. Nonetheless, for those looking to the resilience of the Rossoneri and their potential for a comeback, a draw @ 3.50 could offer a rewarding bet, especially given the high stakes of the match.
Man City vs Young Boys (21:00)
Pep Guardiola lauds Erling Haaland’s goal-scoring prowess after his brace against the Swiss team on Matchday 3, but notes the need for improved playmaking to maximize Haaland’s potential. Guardiola misses the creative forces like De Bruyne and Gündoğan who can set the striker up effectively. YB coach Raphaël Wicky knows that facing such a team requires a flawless execution, seizing opportunities and avoiding concessions, especially from set pieces.
Heading into Matchday 4, the prediction models heavily favor Manchester City as they welcome Young Boys, with an overwhelming 89.2% chance of victory. Fresh off a dominant 6-1 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League, City’s confidence is high. Although Haaland, with an impressive Champions League record, may be a question mark for this game due to a recent injury, City’s track record of winning their last four group stage matches with a scoreline of 3-1 stands strong.
Taking these insights into account, our prediction is a Manchester City win @ 1.10, reflecting their formidable form and the significant disparity in team strengths. For those considering the potential for upsets or draws, which can offer higher odds in such a lopsided prediction, a draw @ 11.00 is a long shot but could yield a substantial payout if Young Boys manage to defy the odds.
Crvena zvezda vs Leipzig (21:00)
Christoph Baumgartner of Leipzig is gearing up for a challenging visit to Belgrade and has expressed that his team must elevate their performance to echo their 3-1 victory from Matchday 3. He pointed out the need for better ball retention and defensive reactions, yet remains confident in the team’s trajectory in the group stage. Mirko Ivanić of Crvena zvezda is also anticipating an improved performance, believing the home advantage in Belgrade will yield a different outcome.
In Group G’s forthcoming match, RB Leipzig is predicted to have the upper hand against Crvena zvezda with a 64.2% win probability. Leipzig’s record is strong, having won their last three away group stage games in the Champions League, including a 3-1 victory over Young Boys earlier this season. They are poised to secure four consecutive away group stage wins for the first time. Crvena zvezda, however, boasts a formidable record of scoring in all but one of their last 14 European matches, suggesting they won’t be an easy team to silence.
Considering the statistics and the teams’ recent form, our prediction is an RB Leipzig win @ 2.20, taking into account their momentum in away games and Crvena zvezda’s less consistent performance. For those who value the unpredictability of home-field advantage and Crvena zvezda’s scoring capabilities, a draw @ 3.50 could offer a worthwhile bet.
Porto vs Antwerp (21:00)
Porto’s midfielder Pepê reflects on their Matchday 3 victory, a robust 4-1 against Antwerp, acknowledging the need for improvement after a first-half deficit. The team’s halftime adjustments proved crucial, leading to a commanding second-half performance and a convincing win. Conversely, after Antwerp’s lead slipped away for the second consecutive Champions League game, the sentiment in Belgium, captured by Le Soir, is one of learning from these high-stakes encounters.
Sitting second in Group H, Porto is forecasted to repeat their success against Antwerp, with a 68.3% probability of victory according to prediction models. Antwerp’s outlook is less favorable, with just a 13.2% chance to secure their maiden win in the competition, especially given their trend of conceding three goals in each match thus far—a pattern they’ll be desperate to break to avoid mirroring Willem II’s record from the 1999-00 season.
With this context, our prediction is a Porto win @ 1.40, reflecting their stronger position and Antwerp’s defensive vulnerabilities. For those considering the potential for a surprise or a more competitive match, a draw @ 4.75 could present an attractive bet, especially given the unpredictability of football at the highest level.
Wednesday 8 November
Napoli vs Union Berlin (18:45)
Union Berlin’s coach, Urs Fischer, is eager for a turnaround following a string of nine defeats across competitions, including a narrow 1-0 loss on Matchday 3. Despite restricting their opponents to a single shot on target, Union couldn’t clinch a win, yet Fischer believes they’re close to where they need to be. Napoli, although not yet hitting the heights of last season, are showing promise with players like Matteo Politano and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who are stepping up their game, as noted by kicker for Kvaratskhelia’s impactful solo efforts in their last encounter.
Napoli faces Union Berlin again, this time at home, after scraping a 1-0 win in Berlin with minimal shots and expected goals—signifying a lucky yet effective performance. Returning to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, where they have a strong record with just one loss in their last 14 home Champions League games, gives Napoli a significant edge.
Taking into account Napoli’s formidable home record and recent success against German opposition—winning their last four encounters without conceding—our prediction is a Napoli win @ 1.60. For those who believe Union Berlin might break their losing streak and cause an upset, considering their solid defensive display in the last match, a draw @ 4.20 offers a tempting option.
Real Sociedad vs Benfica (18:45)
Real Sociedad’s Brais Méndez is a shining example of the team’s enthusiasm, having scored in every group game and contributing to the team’s strong start in their first Champions League campaign in nearly a decade. His childhood dreams echo the sentiments of a team that’s had an “almost perfect” beginning. Contrastingly, Benfica is yet to score a point and following their Matchday 3 defeat, coach Roger Schmidt is calling for improvements in creativity and decisive play to keep their competition hopes alive.
As Real Sociedad and Benfica prepare to face off on Wednesday, La Real stands at the summit of Group D with a 49.9% chance of victory, according to Opta’s supercomputer. A win for them would match their longest winning streak in the competition, dating back to 1982. Benfica, on the other end, has yet to score in the group and is on their longest losing streak since 2018, but they have a history of resilience in Spain, remaining unbeaten in their last three away Champions League matches against Spanish teams.
Taking into account the current form and history, our prediction is a Real Sociedad win @ 2.00, with the team looking to continue their impressive run in European competitions. However, considering Benfica’s track record in Spain, a draw @ 3.50 could also offer a valuable bet for a side looking to rebound.
Bayern vs Galatasaray (21:00)
Bayern’s recent performances have epitomized the value of patience, as Kingsley Coman reflected on the space that opened up in the second half of their last match, leading to a 3-1 victory. This tactical patience paid off in their next match with a flurry of second-half goals. On the other side, Kaan Ayhan of Galatasaray is confident, recalling the sustained pressure they exerted on Bayern throughout their previous encounter, and the numerous chances they created.
Despite Galatasaray’s surprise win over Manchester United on Matchday 2, their subsequent defeat by Bayern positions the German side as the strong favorite for the return match in Munich. With a high predicted win probability of 76.1%, only second to Manchester City this round, Bayern is expected to overpower their Turkish opponents. Their dominance is further evidenced by their recent victory in Der Klassiker and a historical 21-2 aggregate scoreline over Turkish teams in the last six European Cup/Champions League matches. Although Galatasaray’s 9.5% chance of victory suggests a slim possibility of an upset, the odds are stacked against them. Harry Kane’s potential to become the third-highest English goalscorer in the competition adds another layer of excitement to the fixture. A Bayern victory would not only secure their progression but could also clinch the top spot in Group A.
Considering these factors, our prediction is a Bayern win @ 1.15, acknowledging their formidable record when Coman scores. For those looking at the resilience of Galatasaray and their ability to create pressure and chances, a draw @ 7.50 could provide a lucrative, albeit unlikely, opportunity.
Copenhagen vs Man United (21:00)
André Onana, goalkeeper for Manchester United, credits his last-minute penalty save on Matchday 3 as a pivotal moment that could revitalize their season. Emphasizing the demands of playing for a club of such stature, he remains confident in the team’s prospects. Copenhagen’s coach, Jacob Neestrup, meanwhile, rejects the notion of bad luck, attributing their group stage struggles to missed opportunities rather than misfortune.
In the upcoming Champions League fixture, Manchester United will face Copenhagen, a team with a historic win against them from 2006. Despite Copenhagen’s valiant effort in their last match at Old Trafford, their chances of winning the upcoming match are low, with a 24.7% probability as per Opta’s predictions. United, who secured a narrow victory in the reverse fixture, have an underwhelming record away from home in the Champions League but still emerge as favorites in the predictions with a 50.6% win rate from the simulations. Copenhagen’s 10-match streak without a win against English teams in Europe continues to loom over them as they face a similarly low probability of managing a draw against United.
Considering these insights, our prediction is a Manchester United win @ 1.75, reflecting their scoring consistency in the Champions League and the historical difficulty Copenhagen has faced against English teams. For those considering the possibility of Copenhagen’s resilience translating into a result, a draw @ 3.40 could be a rewarding bet, although the odds and past performances suggest it’s a less likely outcome.
Arsenal vs Sevilla (21:00)
Gabriel Jesus, who has scored in all group matches for Arsenal, praised the team’s bold play in their first Champions League stint since the 2016/17 season. However, an injury may keep him off the pitch for upcoming games. Meanwhile, Nemanja Gudelj of Sevilla remains hopeful for his team’s advancement despite not having won in the group yet, citing strong moments in their pressing game against Arsenal in their last encounter.
Arsenal, having secured a 2-1 victory at Sevilla’s home, are favored to continue their winning streak as they host the match at the Emirates Stadium. Opta’s simulations, which see Arsenal winning 66.2% of the time, indicate they’re likely to edge closer to progressing from Group B. Sevilla’s record in England is less promising, with only one win in 11 matches, and the model gives them a mere 15.1% chance of an away victory, having not won on their travels in the Champions League since December 2020. Arsenal’s strong home record in the group stage, unbeaten since September 2015, and consistent scoring in the competition make them formidable opponents.
Our prediction factors in these statistics, suggesting an Arsenal win @ 1.50, with the team’s offensive consistency and Sevilla’s away struggles taken into account. For those considering Sevilla’s ability to surprise and draw strength from their pressing play, a draw @ 4.40 might be a viable, albeit optimistic, bet.
PSV Eindhoven vs Lens (21:00)
PSV’s quest for a group stage win continues, a pursuit they haven’t fulfilled in almost eight years, but their forward line, including Johan Bakayoko, remains confident. Bakayoko and Hirving Lozano are ready to leverage their offensive skills against Lens, emphasizing the importance of a victory in Eindhoven. Lens, however, are on a defensive streak, having conceded one goal or less in nine consecutive games—a testament to their solidity noted by coach Franck Haise after a convincing win over Nantes.
In the upcoming Group B match, PSV Eindhoven, despite being in fourth place, is the favorite against second-placed Lens. Simulation data gives PSV a 52.4% chance of winning. PSV’s record against French teams is strong, with only one loss in their last seven encounters, though that defeat was against Monaco at home. Lens, conversely, has a resilient Champions League record, not losing any of the last seven matches where they conceded first.
Given these insights, our prediction is a PSV win @ 2.10, considering their favorable simulations and the need to turn their fortunes around. However, for those who see the potential in Lens’ recent defensive form and their knack for comebacks, a draw @ 3.40 also presents an intriguing bet.
Real Madrid vs Braga (21:00)
As Braga gears up for challenging fixtures ahead, coach Artur Jorge remains committed to competing fiercely, likening his team to warriors. Their mettle was tested on Matchday 3 against the Spanish powerhouses, and to pull off an upset in the upcoming matches, they’ll need to contain the likes of Jude Bellingham, who has been pivotal for Madrid, as noted by coach Carlo Ancelotti. Ancelotti’s praise for Bellingham, who scored in the reverse fixture and then in El Clásico, highlights the young star’s critical impact on the team.
Real Madrid, with a high probability of 74.7%, is anticipated to secure another win against Braga, following their 2-1 victory in the last encounter. Bellingham, a standout performer, could make history for Madrid if he scores again. Madrid’s formidable record at home against Portuguese teams, with nine wins in 10 matches, only solidifies their position as overwhelming favorites, leaving Braga with a slim 9.6% chance of triumph.
Considering the current form and historical performance, our prediction is a Real Madrid win @ 1.20, acknowledging their dominant home record and Bellingham’s striking form. However, given that none of Braga’s 15 Champions League group stage matches have ended in a draw, and considering their fighting spirit, a draw @ 6.00 could represent a high-value, albeit unlikely, bet.
Salzburg vs Inter (21:00)
Goalkeeper Alexander Schlager’s reflections on Salzburg’s narrow defeat in Milan convey pride and a sense of what’s possible when they play to their potential. With a fearless and confident approach, they consistently troubled their opponents. Although Inter stands on the cusp of advancing to the last 16 with a victory, coach Simone Inzaghi remains cautiously optimistic, aware of the group’s competitiveness and the challenges that Champions League away games present.
Inter Milan’s odds of winning against RB Salzburg in Austria are favorable, with a 58.7% chance according to Opta’s model, while Salzburg’s chances stand at 17.6%. Inter has a perfect record against Salzburg in European competitions, including a 2-1 win in their recent Champions League matchup. Salzburg, having started strong with a win against Benfica, faces the possibility of matching their longest losing streak in the competition if they don’t secure a result. Lautaro Martinez, with a track record of scoring away from home, could be a key player for Inter once again.
In light of these factors, our prediction is an Inter Milan win @ 1.85, given their historical advantage and Salzburg’s recent form. However, considering Salzburg’s demonstrated ability to pose a challenge, a draw @ 3.75 could offer a reasonable alternative for those looking to bet on the underdog’s resilience and capacity to surprise.
Bonus Tiime Conclusion
With the conclusion of Matchday 4, the landscape of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League will begin to crystallize. Teams will have either solidified their quest for knockout glory or find themselves on the brink of an early exit. The beauty of this competition lies in its unpredictability, the sheer will to overcome, and the passion that fuels every match.
As the teams prepare to regroup and reflect, fans and pundits alike will analyze the outcomes, the heroes and the moments that captured the footballing world. Stay tuned, as the journey to the pinnacle of European club football continues to captivate and surprise us all.
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