Preview: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Newcastle United

Preview: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Newcastle United

Both embroiled in a fierce battle to reach the Champions League’s knockout stages, Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle United reconvene at Parc des Princes on Tuesday evening, when neither can afford another defeat.

The pair suffered losses last time out in Group F, so PSG sit second on six points and Newcastle lie just two behind. A repeat of October’s 4-1 win on Tyneside would therefore take the Magpies above their illustrious hosts in the table.

Fittingly for this year’s ‘Group of Death’, a quartet featuring PSG, Newcastle, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund seems set for a nail-biting finish, with qualification for the last 16 potentially coming down to the wire.

All four are separated by just three points heading into the penultimate round of fixtures, so each still holds their own fate in their hands: Paris Saint-Germain therefore know that two wins from two would get them over the line.

Such a situation could have been even more favourable, but the French champions lost 2-1 to Milan earlier this month, after goals from Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao overturned Milan Skriniar’s early opener at San Siro.

As a result, PSG have not only lost two of their last three Champions League group games – as many as in the previous 18 – but have also suffered three straight away defeats in Europe’s elite competition for the first time since 2018.

Ahead of an eagerly anticipated re-match with Newcastle at a packed Parc des Princes, the Ligue 1 leaders have lost six of their last eight Champions League meetings with English clubs, including both of the last two – most notably a chastening 4-1 reverse at St James’ Park earlier this season.

Another setback would leave Luis Enrique’s men in some trouble, as far as securing a top-two spot in Group F is concerned, but they have prepared for Tuesday’s clash with a fine run of form on the domestic scene.

Following the international break, PSG resumed their schedule on Friday evening, when they welcomed Monaco to the French capital, leading the principality club by just three points before kickoff.

Captain Kylian Mbappe was on target from the penalty spot in a 5-2 success that saw Enrique’s side stride clear at the Ligue 1 summit, and his team have now won seven of their last eight matches, scoring at least three goals in all seven victories.

Newcastle have been unable to match such a streak in the Premier League, where a combination of injuries and below-par performances see the North-East club sit adrift of the all-important top five.

In addition to back-to-back defeats versus Borussia Dortmund, the Magpies had also won just one top-flight fixture in a month before hosting Chelsea at the weekend – albeit that sole success came against title-chasing Arsenal.

Alexander Isak opened scoring on Tyneside before the visitors equalised midway through the first half, then further goals from Jamaal Lascelles, Joelinton and Anthony Gordon sealed a superb 4-1 victory for Eddie Howe’s men, who now return to Champions League duty with confidence restored.

Newcastle are just three points behind Group F leaders Dortmund despite a 2-0 defeat in Germany last time out, but it is likely they will need to win both remaining games in order to reach the last 16.

Yet to score away from home in Europe this season – having also recorded a goalless draw with Milan on the opening matchday – they head to France with just two wins from nine road trips in the current campaign.

When Howe’s injury-hit squad face the might of PSG on Parisian soil this week, the weight of history will also be up against them, as Newcastle have won just one of seven away games against Ligue 1 clubs in the past, and none since November 2004.

Paris Saint-Germain Champions League form:

Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions):

Newcastle United Champions League form:

Newcastle United form (all competitions):

We say: Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Newcastle United
Neither side is at full strength due to the injury epidemic that seems to be sweeping elite-level football, but an entertaining contest is still very much on the cards in Paris.

Gaining a measure of revenge for their loss in England, PSG should put Newcastle to the sword on home soil, as the Magpies do not tend to travel all that well and their hosts are approaching peak form.

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