That Newcastle line-up: Suffering from whatever the polar opposite of a selection headache is, Eddie Howe has named the exact same team that started against Chelsea on Saturday. Allowed to name nine substitutes in the Champions League, he has picked just seven players for his bench. Two of them are goalkeepers and four of the remaining five are teenagers. Three of those youngsters – James Huntley, Michael Ndiweni and Ben Parkinson – have just two senior appearances between them for the club. Not one of Newcastle’s substitutes is an attacker.
Paris Saint-Germain: Donnarumma, Hakimi, Skriniar, Danilo, Hernandez, Ruiz, Ugarte, Lee, Dembele, Kolo Muani, Mbappe.
Subs: Letellier, Tenas, Goncalo Ramos, Asensio, Vitinha, Mukiele, Soler, Barcola.
Newcastle United: Pope; Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Livramento; Joelinton, Miley, Guimaraes; Almiron, Isak, Gordon.
Subs: Dubravka, Karius, Dummett, Hall, Huntley, Ndiweni, Parkinson.
Trouble in Paris: Newcastle fans have been encouraged to stick together to stay safe in the French capital after trouble flared briefly in the buildup to Tuesday’s Champions League game.
Tonight’s match officials
Referee: Szymon Marciniak
Assistant referees: Tomasz Listkiewicz and Adam Kupsik
Fourth official: Paweł Raczkowski
VAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski
Assistant VAR: Ivan Bebek
Following back-to-back defeats at the hands of Borussia Dortmund, Newcastle must avoid defeat in Paris to keep their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages alive. Should Eddie Howe’s side beat their hosts, they will overtake their hosts and would sit second or third in the group depending on the outcome of tonight’s game between AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund at the San Siro.
Currently three points Borussia Dortmund in the table, Newcastle can’t overtake them tonight as Champions League rules dictate they would miss out due to head-to-head results between the two sides.
A draw would still keep Newcastle in contention for qualification for the knockout stages ahead what would be a must-win final group game against Milan at St James’ Park. Defeat tonight will make it impossible for them to progress as they would be unable to overtake either Dortmund or PSG, whatever the outcome of their match against Milan. Even if they lose tonight, Newcastle could still drop into the knockout stages of the Europa League by finishing third in the group. However, if they lose and Milan beat Borussia Dortmund, Newcastle’s Euroean dream is over for the season.
It was a decidedly decimated Newcastle squad that touched down in Paris, with no fewer than 11 first team regulars and fringe players sidelined through injury or suspension.
Sandro Tonali continues his suspension for a breach of betting regulations, while – deep breath – Jacob Murphy (shoulder), Dan Burn (back), Callum Wilson (thigh), Elliott Anderson (back), Sven Botman (knee), Harvey Barnes (ankle), Sean Longstaff (ankle), Joe Willock (calf), Javier Manquillo (groin) and Matt Targett (thigh) are all spending more time than they would like in the physio room.
While Newcastle were able to field a team strong enough to hammer Chelsea on Saturday, they were so low on numbers Eddie Howe was forced to name three goalkeepers and several young academy graduates among his substitutes in order to take the bare look off his bench.
PSG boss Luis Enrique has injury issues of his own to deal with and is still reeling from the loss of his teenage midfielder Warren Zaire-Emery to an ankle injury during the international break. The prodigious 17-year-old joins Marco Asensio, Marquinhos, Nuno Mendes, Danilo Pereira and Presnel Kimbembe in the French side’s collection of the lame and halt.
Tonight’s Gulf State derby in Paris isn’t necessarily must-win for Newcastle United but it is certainly must-not-lose if the Saudi owned side are to maintain any hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the first Champions League they have played in for 20 years.
Back-to-back defeats at the hands of Borussia Dortmund have left Newcastle bottom of Group F but a win at the Parc Des Princes will take them above their hosts, right back in the qualification mix with one game to go.
Despite having 12 players missing through injury or suspension, those available to Eddie Howe managed to pull off an impressive victory over Chelsea at the weekend. It remains to be seen how much of a toll the collective physical effort that laid the foundations for that emphatic victory will take on his side when they face the French champions. Kick-off in Paris is at 8pm (GMT) but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.