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  • Date: Wednesday October 4 – 20.00 BST
  • Location: St James’ Park, Newcastle, United Kingdom
  • Teams: Newcastle United vs Paris Saint Germain

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Champions League returns to Newcastle as Magpies host Parisian Giants

Newcastle United

When the Saudi led takeover went through, only the most optimistic Newcastle supporter would have envisaged a return to Europe’s top club competition as quickly. However, with sound management and good decision making in both the boardroom and the dugout, and, yes, a bit of expenditure,  the Geordies are ahead of schedule in their development and were the pot four team that nobody wanted in the draw.

The Geordies overcame a frustrating start to the season, where they suffered three straight defeats in the Premier League after an opening day win over Aston Villa. They steadied the ship with a home win over Brentford, before picking up a point away at AC Milan in the Champions League. They then turned on the style with an amazing 8-0 win at Sheffield United and then, despite making 10 changes, knocked Manchester City out of the EFL Cup. This weekend saw a routine 2-0 win over Burnley ar St James’ Park, courtesy of goals from Miguel Almiron and Alexander Isak. They have kept five clean sheets in a row since the international break.

United will be without Harvey Barnes for the visit of PSG after suffering a toe injury against Sheffield United. Magpies boss Eddie Howe revealed that the forward will be out for months rather than weeks. Joelinton lasted only a few minutes as a subsititute against Burnley before being withdrawn with a hamstring problem, which means he is unlikely to face PSG. Central defender Sven Botman is likely to be out until after the international break with a knee injury. Callum Wilson is doubtful with a hamstring issue. Joe Willock is not expected to return until after the international break.

Paris Saint Germain

PSG have dominated domestically for the most part, however, the Champions League is a trophy which has eluded them. Huge amounts of money have been spent on transfer fees and wages in a bid to become European Champions. Kylian Mbappe has remained at the club, despite not agreeing to a contract extension, and they possess undoubted quality throughout their squad. Luis Enrique will be tasked with moulding them into an effective team unit which is at least equal to the sum of its parts.

Newcastle United are the last team any of the established European heavyweights would have wanted to emerge from Pot 4. A bouncing St James’ Park is an intimidating prospect for any team and is an added complication that Enrique could have done without. Newcastle’s presence makes Group F a more difficult prospect for all concerned.

PSG have made a disappointing start to their league campaign and were sitting fifth in Ligue 1. However, they enjoyed a convincing 2-0 win over Dortmund in their opening Group F match. They then enjoyed a convincing win over Marseille and moved up to third before a goalless draw at Clermont Foot.

Mbappe had been an injury doubt for the trip to Tyneside after being substituted against Marsielle, however, the forward returned against Clermont. Kaylor Navas has recovered from a back injury but Marco Asensio (foot) and Presnel Kimpembe (achilles) are out. Nuno Mendes is not set to return until January and Sergio Rico is still recovering from a head injury and will not play again until 2024.


With the greatest of respect to Newcastle, PSG have more quality and more experience of European football. However, Howe has risen to every challenge he has encountered since taking the United job, from comfortably keeping the club up from a hopeless position, to guiding them to a fourth placed finish. So you wouldn’t back against them having another good league season and doing well in Europe. The St James’ Park crowd will make it a difficult night for PSG and we feel a draw could be the most likely outcome.

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Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives. Editorial Promise