Two historic clubs from England and France face off in this week’s Champions League tie as Newcastle welcome PSG to St James Park. Both teams are known for their passionate fans and entertaining football styles, and have seen legendary players like Ronaldinho and Alan Shearer play for them in their past. This time around, however, there is a change in climate, with the Saudi royal family now owning Newcastle and the Qatari royal family holding the reins at PSG.
The match promises to be a thrilling clash of two emerging forces in football, and the “Oil Derby” aspect, with underlying tensions between the two countries that own them, bringing a unique element to this encounter. This game is also set in the fierce group of death of the Champions League, which many believe is one of the most challenging groups we have ever seen in the competition’s history. Victory for both teams will go a long way to seeing them qualify for the competition’s knockout stages.
Newcastle vs. PSG Tips
If recent matches are anything to go by, we should expect goals to be on the radar for both teams. As you might expect, PSG scored quite a few goals in the league this year but have a leaky defense. On the other hand, Newcastle have been pretty resolute in defense, but Liverpool’s comeback with ten men shows that they can be got at. This is why we think a bet on both teams to score is not a bad option.
When you think of PSG, only one man comes to mind. That man, of course, is Kylian Mbappe. There is every chance he might thrive in the atmosphere that will inevitably be fever pitch at St James Park. Although we expect Newcastle to stand up well to the test, we are backing him to score the match’s first goal.
Newcastle vs. PSG Match Analysis
PSG are currently sat third in Ligue 1. Three wins, three draws, and one loss might not appear to be a disastrous start, but they have become accustomed to dominating the French league, and it is clear to everyone that things are not how they perhaps should be considering their colossal budget.
Superstars Neymar and Messi left in the summer to ply their trade in Saudi Arabia and the States, respectively, leaving the Paris side a little light on firepower. Of course, they still have the brilliant Kylian Mbappe, but even his future has been up in the air for quite some time. Manager Luis Enrique has a fantastic reputation, but managing the egos has always been the issue at PSG and perhaps the reason they are yet to pick up the biggest trophy in club football.
Newcastle, though are perhaps an example of how big money should be spent. There is a notion by many that the pride of the North East has yet to spend any of their fortune, but they have accumulated great talent along the way. Eddie Howe has also signed players he knows will fit into his style of football. The signing of Harvey Barnes from Leicester is a good example of this. Not considered a world-class talent but improves the strength of their Squad. Alexander Isak, Sven Botman, Bruno Guimaraes, and Sandro Tonali are all players who can offer something special to the side, though.
Newcastle vs. PSG Predictions
Newcastle played a very conservative brand of football at the San Siro, where they held out for a 0-0 draw. To be frank, this game wasn’t one for the spectators, but we expect this game to be very different. It was only last weekend that saw Newcastle break a Premiership record as they beat Sheffield United 8-0, with eight different goalscorers. This match showed that Eddie Howe is now a manager who sets up his team based on the opposition. Something he was accused of not doing during his time at Bournemouth.
PSG, on the other hand, are not playing well. It is not clear what their identity is, and although they have very fine players, we are backing the Magpies here to win. The Geordie crowd will be roaring on their heroes, and a 3-1 victory might be on the cards.
Newcastle Team News
Newcastle have a number of players on the sidelines, and with them playing European football for the first time in a long time, they need a strong starting 11 and a strong bench. Harvey Barnes is expected to be out of action for approximately three months after suffering a recent foot injury. Joe Willock, Newcastle’s savior in the 20/21 season, is struggling with multiple injuries and problems in his calf and Achilles and is expected to return in six weeks.
Another key player who is expected to be missing in this tie is their powerhouse, Sven Botman, whose towering presence will be missed due to a knee injury. Callum Wilson is also struggling with a tight hamstring, but there is still a chance he might play versus PSG, even if it is just a sub appearance. Lastly, Joelinton continues to be sidelined with a thigh injury and will likely not make an appearance.
PSG Team News
PSG have gone through a major squad overhaul this transfer window with two of the biggest names not only in their club but also in world football, Neymar and Messi, leaving the club. They also banished a number of players from their team at the start of the season, including their star player Mbappe, but he was later integrated back into the team. Their team shuffle looks to have had an effect on the team, and they have not had as dominant a start to this campaign.
Nuno Mendes is a key player out for the long term after undergoing a recent hamstring surgery. Players like Sergio Rico, Marco Asensio, and Juan Bernat are also all out, adding further challenges for Luis Enrique in squad selection. Kimpembe remains a doubt for the Champions League game as well, and this could mean potential gaps for the Newcastle attackers to exploit in PSG’s backline.