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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 beginning of the season has seen the first real dip since the takeover. Eddie Howe has done a superb job, however, keeping Newcastle towards the top of the league, while competing in Europe, with the restrictions of financial fair play was always going to be tough. Howe has massively improved those already at the club and has bought well, but they still lack a little depth in certain positions and, given the situation at the club under the previous ownership, it will take time to address this.

Rather than pay huge fees and salaries to high profile players and look for a quick fix, the Newcastle strategy has been to spend on emerging talent and to try to improve the infrastructure of the whole club. It promises to be an interesting few years for Newcastle supporters, especially if the strategy pays off long term with a period of sustained success.

The Geordies have had a frustrating start to the season, with wins over Aston Villa and Brentford bookending three straight losses to Manchester CIty, Liverpool and Brighton. The calibre of the five teams Newcastle have played so far may explain their relatively low points haul, though Howe and his players will have been expecting more. Having said that, they have exactly the same points total as they did after five league games last season.

Their first Champions League match in over 20 years brough a creditable draw in the San Siro against Milan. While the home side were the better team, Newcastle defended well and battled. They will be no push overs and their second successive clean sheet in all competitions could be a sign that they are edging back to the standards they set themselves last season.

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 sit fifth in Ligue 1. However, they enjoyed a convincing 2-0 win over Dortmund in their opening Group F match.


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.

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