We look ahead to this UEFA Champions League Group F match at St. James’ Park with our Newcastle vs Paris Saint-Germain prediction and preview.
Newcastle vs Paris Saint-Germain: The Quick Hits
- Newcastle are predicted to cause somewhat of a shock by the Opta supercomputer, as they are favourites to win this match.
- Across pre-match simulations, Newcastle won 39.3% of the time compared to Paris Saint-Germain on 36.1% of occasions.
- This will be Newcastle’s first home game in the UEFA Champions League for over 20 years, since losing 2-0 to Barcelona in March 2003.
Newcastle United will host a match in European competition for the first time since a UEFA Europa League quarter-final draw with Benfica in April 2013, while it’ll be their first UEFA Champions League match at St. James’ Park since losing 2-0 to Barcelona in March 2003 over 20 years ago.
They began life back in the UCL with a 0-0 draw at AC Milan, winning a point despite being under pressure for large spells of the game. Their expected goals (xG) total on MD 1 against Milan was just 0.28 – the second lowest of any team in the opening round of the 2023-24 competition. Indeed, they only recorded one shot on target in the match and that came in the 95th minute through Sean Longstaff.
However, it was a clean sheet for goalkeeper Nick Pope. He became the fifth English keeper to keep a clean sheet on his first UEFA Champions League start, and the first since Fraser Forster in 2012. No English keeper has ever kept a clean sheet in their first two starts in the competition before.
Paris Saint-Germain feel very much in a transition phase under new Spanish boss Luis Enrique. Some huge names have departed the club this summer, including Lionel Messi, Neymar, Sergio Ramos and Marco Verratti. They’ve been replaced by younger talent such as Hugo Ekitiké, Lee Kang-in, Gonçalo Ramos, Bradley Barcola and Randal Kolo Muani as well as more established and experienced stars like Milan Škriniar, Marco Asensio and Ousmane Dembélé.
Of course, they’ll be looking to captain Kylian Mbappé for inspiration on Wednesday night. The French striker has scored a UEFA Champions League goal against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester United at Old Trafford and Liverpool at Anfield. He could become the fourth player to score an away goal at four different English venues in the competition, after Cristiano Ronaldo (five), Lionel Messi (four) and Robert Lewandowski (four).
Newcastle vs Paris Saint-Germain Head-to-Head
This will be the first ever competitive meeting between Newcastle United and Paris Saint-Germain.
Eddie Howe will be hopeful of PSG continuing their poor record against English clubs in Europe. They have lost five of their last seven Champions League games against English sides, with the exceptions being a 3-1 win at Manchester United (December 2020) and a 2-0 home win over Manchester City (September 2021).
Newcastle’s European record versus sides from France isn’t much better, however. They have won just three of their 13 meetings with French opponents in all competitions (D4 L6).
PSG boss Luis Enrique has positive memories of St. James’ Park as a player. He was the first player to score a UEFA Champions League goal against Newcastle, doing so for Barcelona in September 1997 in a 3-2 defeat on Tyneside. He’s won 15 of his 19 group stage matches as manager (D2 L2), although one of his defeats was in England against Man City back in November 2016 when Barcelona boss (3-1).
Newcastle United come into this game on a great run of form following a three-game losing streak. After losing to Manchester City, Liverpool and Brighton in the Premier League, the Magpies have reacted well following the international break with four wins and a draw away in Milan. They’ve kept a clean sheet in all five of these matches – their longest such run since a six-game streak which ended in January – but should be thoroughly tested in this match versus PSG’s attacking talents.
Including Callum Wilson’s injury-time consolation in the 3-1 defeat at Brighton on 2 September, the last 13 goals scored in competitive matches involving Newcastle have been scored by Eddie Howe’s side. Eight of these came in the exceptional 8-0 away win at Sheffield United on 24 September. Since then, they’ve beaten last season’s treble-winners Manchester City in the EFL Cup and bested Burnley in the Premier League at the weekend.
PSG have started their 2023-24 campaign with mixed form. They won 2-0 at home to Borussia Dortmund on MD 1, but their league form has been less impressive overall. They find themselves outside the top four after seven matchweeks.
They showed impressive attacking form in the recent home game against rivals Marseille, beating them 4-0 in a game that was only 1-0 when they lost Mbappé through injury in the 32nd minute. However, they then followed this up with a disappointing 0-0 draw in Ligue 1 versus Clermont on Saturday, displaying more of the inconsistency that’s often blighted them over the years.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off on Wednesday night, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Newcastle vs Paris Saint-Germain Prediction
Yes, you read that right. Our pre-match Newcastle vs PSG prediction sees the Magpies tagged as the favourites against the mighty Ligue 1 side on Wednesday night.
Eddie Howe’s side won more of the 10,000 pre-match simulations (39.3%) than the French giants (36.1%), giving Newcastle fans hope of a famous victory at St. James’ Park to continue their unbeaten run in the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League following the 0-0 draw in Milan on MD 1.
Despite this, PSG have the bigger chance of progressing from Group F (68.8%) as one of the top two teams in the standings ahead of Newcastle (51.1%), Milan (44.3%) and Borussia Dortmund (35.8%) as we head into Matchday 2.
Overall, only Arsenal (178) have played more UEFA Champions League matches without winning the competition than Paris Saint-Germain (138). Across the overall seasonal Champions League predictions, the Opta supercomputer isn’t too confident of them achieving it this season either. At a 1.8% chance of glory, there are 11 other clubs ranked above them in the projections, with Manchester City (32.2%) the clear favourites ahead of Bayern Munich (13.1%).
Newcastle vs Paris Saint-Germain UCL Squads
Newcastle United: Martin Dúbravka, Loris Karius, Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Paul Dummett, Sven Botman, Fabian Schär, Jamaal Lascelles, Matt Targett, Tino Livramento, Dan Burn, Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes, Lewis Hall, Miguel Almirón, Sean Longstaff, Bruno Guimarães, Joelinton, Callum Wilson, Anthony Gordon, Alexander Isak, Jacob Murphy, Joe Willock.
Head Coach: Eddie Howe.
Paris Saint-Germain: Keylor Navas, Alexandre Letellier, Arnau Tenas, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, Presnel Kimpembe, Marquinhos, Lucas Hernández, Nuno Mendes, Nordi Mukiele, Milan Škriniar, Manuel Ugarte, Fabián Ruiz, Danilo, Vitinha, Kang-in Lee, Carlos Soler, Warren Zaïre-Emery, Ethan Mbappé, Kylian Mbappé, Gonçalo Ramos, Ousmane Dembélé, Marco Asensio, Randal Kolo Muani, Bradley Barcola.
Head Coach: Luis Enrique.