Tue 3 Oct 2023, 14:59 · NUFCFEED

Newcastle United vs. Paris Saint-Germain: 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Group F matchday two preview

Newcastle United vs. Paris Saint-Germain: 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Group F matchday two preview
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Champions League football is back on Tyneside for the first time since 2003 as Paris Saint-Germain head to St. James' Park for matchday two of Group F.

Following Newcastle's creditable 0-0 draw in the San Siro two weeks ago, head coach Eddie Howe will be hoping to go one better against Luis Enrique's side on Wednesday evening.

A win would be worth three very valuable points in this year's "group of death", plus £2.5 million in prize money, meaning the stakes have never been higher for the Magpies.

Here's all of the latest team news, predicted lineups, travel news, broadcast information, and more ahead of a truly monumental encounter.

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Team News

Newcastle United

Joelinton and Callum Wilson are facing late fitness tests due to their respective hamstring issues, but it would be a surprise to see either start with another game on the horizon in just four days.

Sandro Tonali is fine to play, however, despite reports earlier today that the Italian missed the club's open training session at Darsley Park and was doubtful for the match.

Sven Botman will take no part again due to his knee issue, unfortunately, while Harvey Barnes and Joe Willock are long-term absentees.

Mark Gillespie, Emil Krafth, Javier Manquillo, and Matt Ritchie were not named in the Champions League squad list and cannot be selected.

Paris Saint-Germain

The big news for the visitors is that their superstar forward Kylian Mbappé is set to start following a recent ankle issue. Veteran goalkeeper Keylor Navas is also fit to return to the bench, too.

Luis Enrique is without backup goalkeeper Sergio Rico, defenders Presnel Kimpembe and Nuno Mendes, plus former Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio due to injury. Fellow attacking midfielder Lee Kang-in is on international duty with South Korea.

Layvin Kurzawa, Hugo Ekitike, and Cher Ndour were not named in PSG's Champions League squad, meaning they can't feature.

Adam Vaughan/EPA

Predicted Lineups

Newcastle United (4-3-3)

Starting XI: Pope, Trippier, Lascelles (c), Schär, Burn; Longstaff, Guimarães, Tonali; Almirón, Isak, Gordon

Substitutes: Dúbravka, Karius; Livramento, Dummett, Targett; Anderson, L. Miley, Joelinton, Hall; Murphy, Wilson

With his side hitting good form, it would be a shock to see anything other than the usual 4-3-3 from Howe here. It won't be completely familiar, though, due to the head coach's injury problems.

Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schär, Dan Burn, Sean Longstaff, Bruno Guimarães, and Anthony Gordon are all guaranteed starters, leaving three places up for grabs.

Miguel Almirón's recent return to form should see him getting the nod over Jacob Murphy on the right wing, while Callum Wilson's late fitness test means Alexander Isak is much more likely to start up front.

With Sandro Tonali not a doubt after all, he should come into the centre of midfield in place of Elliot Anderson, with Joelinton probably set for a place on the bench at the absolute best.

Paris Saint-Germain (3-4-3)

Starting XI: Donnarumma; Marquinhos (c), Škriniar, Hernández; Hakimi, Ugarte, Zaïre-Emery, Barcola; Dembélé, Kolo Muani, Mbappé

Substitutes: Navas, Tenas; Mukiele; Danilo, Ruiz, Soler, Vitinha; Ramos

Enrique began the season in the same 4-3-3 shape as Newcastle but has switched to 3-4-3 for the French champions' two most recent fixtures with Marseille (won 4-0) and Clermont Foot (drew 0-0).

We think he'll go for the latter here, with left-back Mendes still absent, though Lucas Hernández is very capable of playing there should the PSG coach want to go for the more solid approach. Vitinha would likely come in for Barcola in that scenario, making a midfield trio with Ugarte and Zaïre-Emery.

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Match Officials

István Kovács of Romania will have the whistle, taking charge of a Newcastle game for the first time in his 17-year professional career. His compatriots Ovidiu Artene and Vasile Florin Marinescu will run the lines, while Marcel Birsan will be the fourth official.

Marco Fritz of Germany is the VAR, with assistance from Rob Dieperink of the Netherlands. Let's hope the multi-national duo do a better job than Darren England and Dan Cook did at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday evening!

Travel News

There's still no lift access from the platforms at Monument, with supporters asked to get off at Central Station, Haymarket, or St. James' instead. Haymarket will be open, by the way, with its nightly closure for works suspended on Wednesday.

There is yet another rail strike to contend with, unfortunately. The likes of Cross Country, LNER, Northern, and TransPennine are all impacted, with full details available here.

On the buses, Go North East staff are still on strike so no services are in operation, including the X50 football special from the Metro Centre.

The usual temporary road closures will be in place around the ground from 7 p.m. until ~10.30 p.m. (30 minutes after the final whistle). Additionally, Bigg Market, Grainger Street, Blackett Street, Gallowgate, and Barrack Road (towards the City Centre) will apparently be shut off between 5.15 p.m. and 6.15 p.m. due to the influx of PSG fans into Newcastle.

Broadcast Information

TNT Sports 2 will be televising the game in the UK and Ireland, while there's extensive international coverage available too. More information on this can be found on LiveSoccerTV.

Radio-wise, we're back on BBC Radio 5 Live Sport nationally, on BBC Radio Newcastle regionally, and Radio Tyneside in local hospitals.

Getty Images

Relevant Statistics

Newcastle United and Paris Saint-Germain have never met competitively, with the French champions only being formed in 1970.








Indeed, this is only the seventh time a French team has played a competitive fixture at St. James' Park. Our record in those games reads won two, drew two, and lost two.

Home fans have never seen a Champions League draw in twelve other games, with the Magpies winning seven and losing five.

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Predicted Score

No Barnes, Botman, Joelinton, or Willock? No problem! Well, not enough of a problem to prevent Howe and the lads from achieving a famous victory on St. James' return to the Champions League.

We're saying 2-1 Newcastle with the loudest home crowd for years. We desperately hope we're not massively wide of the mark by being so optimistic on both of those fronts.

Howay the lads!