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What to look out for on UEFA Champions League Matchday 4



Four teams with perfect records can secure qualification, Group F is wide open and Rasmus Højlund returns to Copenhagen as we reach UEFA Champions League Matchday 4.

The second half of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League group stage begins on 7 November as the best teams on the continent get reacquainted once more.

The insight Media Sport Arena pick out some key talking points as European football’s most prestigious club competition heads into Matchday 4.


Fixtures:7 November, 2023

Dortmund vs Newcastle (18:45)

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Barcelona (18:45)

Atlético de Madrid vs Celtic (21:00)

Lazio vs Feyenoord (21:00)

Milan vs Paris (21:00)

Man City vs Young Boys (21:00)

Crvena zvezda vs Leipzig (21:00)

Porto vs Antwerp (21:00)


Fixtures: 8 November, 2023

Napoli vs Union Berlin (18:45)

Real Sociedad vs Benfica (18:45)

Bayern vs Galatasaray (21:00)

Copenhagen vs Man United (21:00)

Arsenal vs Sevilla (21:00)

PSV Eindhoven vs Lens (21:00)

Real Madrid vs Braga (21:00)

Salzburg vs Inter (21:00)

What to look out for

1. Perfect sides go for qualification

Only four teams have won all three of their group stage matches so far, with Bayern, Barcelona, Manchester City and Real Madrid boasting perfect records. These elite sides are arguably among the favourites to win the competition, and they will take a step closer to reaching next year’s final at Wembley if they are victorious on Matchday 4 and seal their progression to the round of 16.

These giants are certainly continuing to prove that they are the best of the best on the biggest stage as they battle for the ultimate prize. As Barcelona coach Xavi said after Matchday 3’s win at home to Shakhtar Donetsk: “Nine points out of nine is very good, very positive. We haven’t qualified yet but it was a very important step forward. We feel very good about this.”

2. Group F wide open

It was highlighted as one of the most competitive groups in recent years when the draw was made, and Group F has certainly lived up to the hype so far. Paris, Dortmund, Newcastle and Milan have already produced some wonderfully entertaining matches, and it is still anybody’s guess which of the two will qualify, with just four points separating section leaders Paris with Milan in fourth place.

“It was always going to be tight in the group,” Newcastle coach Eddie Howe said after Matchday 3’s 1-0 defeat at home to Dortmund. “Tonight was a blow for us, especially at home. We now have two really important away games coming up.” It is practically impossible to predict how things will go at the moment, but the picture may become clearer after Matchday 4’s mouthwatering encounters.

3. Højlund returns to Copenhagen

After featuring against his old team at Old Trafford, Manchester United forward Rasmus Højlund will return to where it all began when his side travel to Copenhagen for a big game in Group A. Højlund came through the academy in the Danish capital, breaking through in the senior team with five goals in the UEFA Europa Conference League in the 2021/22 season before moving to Sturm Graz.

Højlund was denied the chance to face his brother Oscar during the game in Manchester after being substituted five minutes before his sibling was brought on. They could get another opportunity to take each other on in Denmark, but there will be no time for sentimentality, with both sides in big need of a win as they look to hunt down group leaders Bayern and Galatasaray.

Further ahead

• Bayern forward Thomas Müller could become the latest to reach the milestone of 150 appearances in UEFA club competition if he features on Matchdays 4 and 5. Real Madrid’s Luka Modrić and Sergio Ramos of Sevilla achieved the feat on Matchday 3.

• Veteran Porto defender Pepe will relish the chance to return to Barcelona when his side face the Catalan giants on 28 November. The former Real Madrid man played a total of 11 El Clásico encounters in the city for Los Blancos, with a record of W4 D2 L5.

• Man United will face a tough test when they take on Galatasaray at the Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi on 29 November. In three trips to the stadium in the Champions League United have never won, most recently losing 1-0 in a group stage match in 2012.

Where is the 2024 UEFA Champions League final being played?

The 2023/24 UEFA Champions League final will take place at Wembley Stadium in London on 1 June 2024.


Ten Hag blasts ‘inconsistent’ Man Utd after Bournemouth misery



Erik ten Hag blasted his “inconsistent” Manchester United charges after Bournemouth made history with their first ever victory at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Ten Hag’s side slumped to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat that underlined the array of problems threatening to ruin United’s season.

Just three days after beating Chelsea to revive their bid for a top four finish in the Premier League, United reverted to the sloppy form that has plagued them for much of the campaign.

Goals from Dominic Solanke, Philip Billing and Marcos Senesi handed Bournemouth a memorable win as Ten Hag and his players were booed off at full-time.

With the pressure mounting on Ten Hag with each defeat in his troubled second season as United boss, the Dutchman slammed his team’s lacklustre performance.

“Of course, annoyed and disappointed, definitely. I expected something different,” Ten Hag said.

“I hoped before the game you can build on the performance and result from Chelsea, so then it’s very disappointing.

“That (consistency) is of course the question, but I think we have to always be ready for the game, so I have to take the responsibility for that.

“I have to prepare my team so that they are ready for the game, so from my point of view I’m very disappointed the way we started so I have to do the things better.”

United have now lost 35 home league games since Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012-13 title-winning season.

During the iconic 26-year reign of the Scottish manager, United were only beaten in the league at Old Trafford 34 times

Ten Hag shouldered much of the responsibility for United’s 11th defeat in all competitions this term.

But alarmingly for United fans, the former Ajax boss conceded he did not believe his squad were consistent enough to thrive at the highest level.

“We are really inconsistent. We have the abilities to do it, but you have to do it every game and every third day,” he said.

“I think as a squad we are not good enough to be consistent and we have to work as a squad to improve that.”

It was an eye-catching remark at the end of a week that began with reports that some United players had grown unhappy with the manager.

Ten Hag denied those claims but, with his team mired in sixth place, he desperately needs some positive results quickly.

United host Bayern Munich in the Champions League next week knowing they must win to have any chance of progressing to the last 16.

A trip to in-form Liverpool in the Premier League follows the Bayern clash.

“As a group, we have to improve,” Ten Hag said. “That’s a fact. We have to get tougher, that we are ready for the game and from the start.

“I said on Friday, it can’t be in this league that you are not playing on the highest levels because you get killed.

“That’s what happened in the five minutes and then you are following facts and especially against them, such a good transition team, you make life easy for them. They have the perfect conditions to play in.

“Then you see the team fighting, battling, put a lot of effort in for a long period to return in the game, but it can’t happen that you so easily concede a goal.”

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FULL LIST: Final shortlist for CAF Awards 2023



The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced the final three nominees for all categories in the 2023 CAF Awards, just days before the ceremony in Morocco on Monday, December 11.

The ultimate winner of each category will be decided by votes from a panel consisting of the CAF Technical Committee, media professionals from Member Associations, Head Coaches and captains of Member Associations and clubs involved in the group stages of the Interclub competitions and will be announced at the Palais des Congrès, Movenpick, Marrakech, Morocco.

Here’s a full list of the final nominees (in alphabetic order by Member Association):

1. Player of the Year (Men)

Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool)

Achraf Hakimi (Morocco, Paris Saint-Germain)

Victor Osimhen (Nigeria, Napoli)


2. Player of the Year (Women)

Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria, Barcelona)

Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa, Racing Louisville)

Barbara Banda (Zambia, Shanghai Shengli)


3. Interclub Player of the Year (Men)

Fiston Mayele (DR Congo, Pyramids)

Peter Shalulile (Namibia, Mamelodi Sundowns)

Percy Tau (South Africa, Al Ahly)


4. Interclub Player of the Year (Women)

Refilwe Tholakele (Botswana, Mamelodi Sundowns)

Fatima Tagnaout (Morocco, AS FAR)

Lebohang Ramalepe (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns)


6. Coach of the Year (Men)

Abdelhak Benchika (Algeria, Simba SC)

Walid Regragui (Morocco)

Aliou Cisse (Senegal)


7. Coach of the Year (Women)

Reynald Pedros (Morocco)

Desiree Ellis (South Africa)

Jerry Tshabalala (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns)


8. Goalkeeper of the Year (Men)

Andre Onana (Cameroon, Manchester United)

Mohamed El Shenawy (Egypt, Al Ahly)

Yassine Bounou (Morocco, Al Hilal)


9. Goalkeeper of the Year (Women)

Khadija Er-Rmichi (Morocco, AS FAR)

Chiamaka Nnadozie (Nigeria, Paris FC)

Andile Dlamini (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns)


10. Young Player of the Year (Men)

Abdessamad Ezzalzouli (Morocco, Real Betis)

Lamine Camara (Senegal, Metz)

Amara Diouf (Senegal, Metz)


11. Young Player of the Year (Women)

Comfort Yeboah (Ghana, Ampem Darkoa)

Nesryne El Chad (Morocco, Lille)

Deborah Abiodun (Nigeria, Pittsburgh Panthers)


12. National Team of the Year (Men)





13. National Team of the Year (Women)



South Africa


14. Club of the Year (Men)

Al Ahly (Egypt)

Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco)

Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)


15. Club of the Year (Women)

AS FAR (Morocco)

Sporting Casablanca (Morocco)

Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)

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‘I need to rest, enjoy my family,’ Luis Suarez drops retirement hint



Former Liverpool and Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has dropped a hint that he may be considering retirement from professional football.

The Uruguayan recently played his final game for Brazilian club Grêmio, fueling speculations about his future plans.

After scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory against Vasco da Gama, Suarez suggested that his body is speaking to him and that he wants to take some time to rest and enjoy his family before making a decision about his future.

“I can feel pain, my body is speaking for me. I want to enjoy and then decide for myself after a long career. I need to rest, enjoy my family… then the destiny will know where I’ll be in the future,” Suarez said.

Suárez’s career has been filled with success and goal-scoring achievements. He first made his mark in Europe with Ajax, scoring 111 goals in 159 appearances and winning the Dutch league title. His move to Liverpool in 2010 propelled him to new heights, as he scored 82 goals in just 132 appearances and played a crucial role in Liverpool’s title challenge in the 2013-2014 season.

After joining Barcelona in 2014, Luis Suarez formed a formidable attacking trio with Messi and Neymar, winning numerous domestic and European titles. He continued his goal-scoring exploits at Atlético Madrid before returning to South America to play for Nacional and Grêmio. Throughout his career, Suárez has scored an impressive 487 goals in 799 appearances

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