After years away from the grandest stage, Newcastle United is back in the UEFA Champions League. The Magpies are in a tough group, but can Eddie Howe’s men defy the odds and go far in the competition?
Can Newcastle Progress to the Knockouts?
Newcastle has been drawn in arguably the toughest group of the lot. However, the Magpies will enjoy the challenge, and the English Premier League team could cause a few upsets along the way. You can bet on the Champions League today and get odds of -125 for Newcastle to progress to the knockout phase. Manchester City is many people’s Champions League predictions, but Newcastle is priced at +2500 to go all the way.
Howe’s troops will face AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, and Borussia Dortmund, who are all European powerhouses. After kicking off the campaign with a trip to Milan, Newcastle has back-to-back home matches against PSG and Dortmund.
On matchday four, United travels to Germany to play Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion. They then take on Paris at the Parc des Princes before finishing up with a matchup against Milan at St James’ Park.
The San Siro awaits… 🏟️
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) September 18, 2023
Magpies Back in UEFA’s Elite Club Competition
Newcastle’s last appearance in the Champions League was back in 2003. However, they lost in the third qualifying round to Partizan and failed to reach the group stage. They have been in Europe since, but never in the Champions League.
The club’s previous European adventure was the UEFA Europa League campaign in the 2012-13 season. United got through a play-off round and reached the knockout phase. Unfortunately, they were beaten by Portuguese side Benfica in the quarter-finals.
The money has been pumped in recently, and Newcastle is expected to be a Premier League title challenger in the not-so-distant future. However, they qualified for the Champions League ahead of schedule after a stunning 2022-23 EPL campaign.
Newcastle finished fourth in England’s top-tier table, collecting 71 points from 38 league games. Howe’s side picked up 19 wins, tied 14 games, and suffered just five defeats. No team in the EPL last term lost fewer games or conceded fewer goals.
Can United Secure Another Top-Four Finish?
Replicating that success this season will not be an easy task. Newcastle had a tough start, losing three of the opening four Premier League fixtures. After hammering Aston Villa 5-1 on the opening weekend, United suffered three defeats in a row.
They were narrowly beaten by Man City at the Etihad Stadium before losing at home to Liverpool in dramatic fashion. Newcastle was then beaten by in-form Brighton & Hove Albion on matchday four.
After the first international break of the 2023-24 season, Newcastle returned to action with a much-needed win. It was a tough game against a solid Brentford side, but Callum Wilson’s second-half penalty gave the Magpies a 1-0 victory over the Bees.
Finishing in the top four of the Premier League table is the priority for Newcastle once again. Several top clubs have the same idea, and a top-four spot could be even harder to reach this time around. Nevertheless, Newcastle certainly has a capable squad of players.
With Champions League soccer back at St James’ Park, the 2023-24 campaign is set to be an exciting one for the Newcastle faithful. The EPL must take priority, but Newcastle could have a real go in the Champions League.
Tonight is the night.
— ToonArmy (@toonarmy_com) September 19, 2023
The three home games in Group F will be huge, as St James’ can be a real fortress when the place is rocking. Can Newcastle make home advantage count and book a place in the knockout phase of the famous European competition?