Conquer Group F: Unveiling Winning Strategies against PSG, Dortmund & Milan in Newcastle’s Champions League Journey


The Unfortunate Challenge: Can Newcastle United Overcome the Odds in the Champions League Group F?

Football fans around the world eagerly anticipated the Champions League draw on 31 August, and there was one particular group that had everyone holding their breath – Group F. AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, and Paris Saint-Germain were all potential opponents, but little did anyone know that Newcastle United would be the unfortunate club to land in this highly competitive group.

The odds were against Newcastle, with a one-in-three chance of being placed in Group F. Yet, fate had its way, and Eddie Howe’s side found themselves facing one of the toughest groups in Champions League history. Only Manchester City’s group of Dortmund, Real Madrid, and Ajax in 2012-13 could rival the challenge that Newcastle now faced.

Uefa’s rankings place PSG fourth, Dortmund 13th, and Milan a lowly 31st. It is this combination of rankings that made Group F possible, but considering Dortmund’s near miss in the Bundesliga title race last season and Milan’s remarkable performance in the Champions League semi-finals, the composition of this group seems almost unbelievable.

In their first Champions League campaign since 2002-03, Newcastle now find themselves seemingly up against all odds. However, it is interesting to note that British bookmakers have them only behind PSG to win the group. This optimistic outlook, with odds of 9-4, may be influenced by wishful punters, but could there be a glimmer of truth behind it?

One advantage that Newcastle holds is the potential to gain points based on their opponents’ away form in Europe. This means that qualifying for the last 16 is not as unthinkable as it initially seemed for the Magpies.

The Challenge of AC Milan

Newcastle will face AC Milan at home on 19 September and away on 13 December. Stefano Pioli’s side has made an impressive start to the season, with the inclusion of Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, former Chelsea players, who have joined forces with Olivier Giroud to secure three consecutive Serie A wins. However, Milan’s progress suffered a setback with their emphatic 5-1 defeat in the derby against Inter. This loss exposed Milan’s vulnerability, and it is something that Newcastle hopes to capitalize on in their upcoming clash. Additionally, Milan has struggled in their home Champions League games, winning only four out of their last nine. When Newcastle hosts Milan on 13 December, they will face a team that had a lackluster away record on their way to last season’s Champions League semi-finals.

AC Milan vs English sides

This will be the fourth consecutive season that Milan will face English opposition:

  • 2020-21: 2-1 aggregate loss to Manchester United in the Europa League round of 16
  • 2021-22: 2-1 and 3-2 losses to Liverpool in the Champions League group stage
  • 2022-23: 2-0 and 3-0 losses to Chelsea in the Champions League group stage, followed by a 1-0 aggregate victory over Tottenham in the round of 16

The Challenge of Paris Saint-Germain

Newcastle’s first test in Group F will be against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) away on 4 October and at home on 28 November. The atmosphere at St James’ Park is expected to be electrifying, and PSG might find themselves unprepared for the passionate support of the North East. While PSG has only lost to Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, and Manchester City in the Champions League since 2021, they have a reputation for faltering in the knockout stages. Newcastle will relish the opportunity to compete against a team that has made the knockouts for 11 seasons in a row but has faced five last-16 exits in the past seven years. PSG has also had a slow start in Ligue 1, losing 3-2 at home to Nice after two wins and two draws. Their squad has undergone significant changes with the departure of Lionel Messi and Neymar, but the presence of Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, and Gonçalo Ramos ensures that PSG remains a formidable opponent.

Paris Saint-Germain

The Challenge of Borussia Dortmund

Newcastle will face Borussia Dortmund away on 25 October and at home on 7 November. Dortmund is no stranger to Champions League football, having progressed beyond the group stages eight times since their memorable run to the final in 2012-13. Despite winning only two of their six group games last year, Dortmund reached the last 16. Their away record in the Champions League has been less than stellar, with only two wins in their last seven matches. In the Bundesliga, Dortmund had a heartbreaking end to the previous season, losing the title on the final day. They have started this season with two wins and two draws, leaving them in seventh place. While the loss of Jude Bellingham is significant, Dortmund has brought in reinforcements, including Marcel Sabitzer and Felix Nmecha. However, these additions may have weakened the team compared to previous seasons.

In conclusion, Newcastle United faces an uphill battle in the Champions League Group F, pitted against formidable opponents – AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, and Borussia Dortmund. However, there are areas of opportunity for the Magpies. Milan’s vulnerability in their home Champions League games opens a window for Newcastle to secure valuable points. PSG’s rocky start in Ligue 1 and their reputation for underperforming in the knockout stages offer hope for an upset. Dortmund’s inconsistent away form in the Champions League and their patchy start in the Bundesliga provide room for Newcastle to exploit their weaknesses.

Newcastle United might be the underdogs, but in football, surprises are always possible. The world will be watching as Eddie Howe’s side takes on this daunting challenge, and who knows, maybe the Magpies will defy the odds and make their mark in this season’s Champions League.


Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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