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The odds for Newcastle United vs Paris Saint-Germain are provided by the Points Bet Sportsbook, which is offering 10 second chance bets worth $100.
Even the most ardent Newcastle United supporter would admit that their team was second best against AC Milan last month. In their first Champions League game in 20 years, Newcastle created few chances at San Siro.
They did, however, keep Milan out at the other end. Granted, the Rossoneri would have picked up all three points had they been more clinical in front of goal. But Newcastle defended with discipline and resolve, escaping Italy’s second city with a 0-0 draw that could be valuable.
Under Mike Ashley’s miserable ownership, Newcastle punched well below their weight. That is why the club’s supporters are ready to relish every single moment of this season’s Champions League campaign.
Eddie Howe would have been hoping for a kinder draw in the group stage. Newcastle’s lack of recent experience in Europe meant they were always liable to be paired with some strong opponents, but no one really anticipated Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund being their three opponents before Christmas.
Newcastle have won four of their last five matches in all competitions. They have kept clean sheets in all five of those games, including against Manchester City in the EFL Cup last week. Howe’s team are back to their best defensively after a tricky spell.
That bodes well for Wednesday’s meeting with a PSG side that is stacked with attacking talent. Newcastle will be looking to lay down a marker with their first Champions League victory since a 3-1 defeat of Bayer Leverkusen in February 2003.
Home form, you feel, will be vital to Newcastle’s chances of making it out of this group. They will need to make the most of the backing of the St James’ Park crowd when PSG come to town for a crunch clash this week.
Paris Saint-Germain’s dream has long been to win the Champions League. By far the richest team in France, they usually win the Ligue 1 title despite failing to make the most of their huge financial advantage.
But throughout the last decade, PSG have continually fallen short in Europe’s foremost competition. Between 2012/13 and 2015/16, they did not get beyond the quarter-finals. In each of the next three seasons, PSG were eliminated in the round of 16.
Thomas Tuchel led the club to the final in 2020, but they were edged out by Bayern Munich. A semi-final berth the following year was followed by round of 16 exits in 2021/22 and 2022/23.
Can they finally lift the trophy this term? PSG are not among the group of top favorites, which comprises Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Barcelona. But the French team are definitely among the leading outsiders.
It was a summer of change at the Parc des Princes. Luis Enrique replaced Christophe Galtier in the dugout, while Neymar and Lionel Messi sought pastures new. So too did the long-serving midfielder Marco Verratti, who is now plying his trade in Qatar.
PSG signed Ousmane Dembele, Randal Kolo Muani, Manuel Ugarte, Hugo Ekitike, Lucas Hernandez, Milan Skriniar and Marco Asensio among others, but this could be a season of transition for the club, at least in the Champions League. Luis Enrique won the tournament with Barcelona in 2015, but it could take him a year to fully get his ideas across at PSG.
There is another element of this match that we have not mentioned yet. Newcastle are owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, while Paris Saint-Germain’s proprietors are Qatar Sports Investments.
The leaders of those countries have not always seen eye to eye. Saudi Arabia was part of a grouping which enacted a blockade of Qatar for three and a half years until January 2021. The Saudis have alleged that the Qatari regime has supported terrorism in the region.
That is not the type of paragraph you would have expected to read in a soccer article 20 years ago. But the sport’s controversial embrace of the state ownership of its clubs means these conversations can no longer be avoided.
Such matters will be forgotten for 90 minutes on Wednesday, but soccer is going down a very dangerous path by allowing sovereign states to control community assets.
On the pitch, Newcastle will look to feed off the energy of the home crowd and use that to their advantage. PSG have not been entirely convincing so far this season, and they will have to deal with an intense atmosphere and a well-drilled Newcastle unit on Wednesday.
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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