Today’s Champions League Group Stage Fixtures & Previews

Champions League football return to St James’ Park as Newcastle host PSG

Since the start of 2022, Newcastle have been subjected to a mere five competitive defeats on home turf – three of which were against Liverpool – and Wednesday’s game will see Champions League football return to St James’ Park for the first time since August 2003.

French champions Paris Saint-Germain visit St James’ Park for a tantalising Champions League Group F tie on Wednesday evening, as Newcastle United play host to Paris Saint-Germain.

Newcastle marked their return to the big time with a hard-fought goalless stalemate away to AC Milan on matchday one, while Les Parisiens saw off Borussia Dortmund 2-0.

Entering Wednesday’s game in tip-top condition on the back of a three-game winning streak, Newcastle ended September in magnificent fashion with nine goals across 180 minutes of football – eight in a record-breaking obliteration of Sheffield United, and one to dump Manchester City out of the EFL Cup in the third round.

After esteemed coaches such as Thomas TuchelMauricio Pochettino and Christophe Galtier failed to lift PSG’s continental curse, Les Parisiens have turned to Barcelona treble-winner Luis Enrique in a bid to finally achieve European stardom, but his side no longer strike the same level of fear into the hearts of opposing teams. PSG’s star man Mbappe completed the full 90 against Clermont after shaking off an ankle scare.

The boisterous St James’ Park atmosphere will also play its part in intimidating the French champions, but despite the visitors’ stretch of inconsistent form, keeping Mbappe and co quiet might be a step too far for an injury-ravaged Magpies team.


DortmundAC Milan search for their first Group F win

Both searching for their first Champions League Group F win at the second attempt, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan pit their wits against one another at the Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday.


AC Milan players

Edin Terzic‘s men fell to a 2-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on matchday one, while the Rossoneri were left to rue a string of wasted chances in a 0-0 draw with Newcastle United.

Defeat in the French capital snapped a 13-game unbeaten run across all competitions for Dortmund, who occupy last place in the Group F rankings with plenty of continental football left to be played, and they have responded to their opening Champions League setback with a pair of Bundesliga triumphs over Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim.

Wednesday’s intriguing showdown will mark the first competitive meeting between Milan and Dortmund since the 2002-03 group stage.

Unbeaten on home soil since August 2022, Dortmund can prolong their hot streak at Signal Iduna Park against a depleted Milan team, whose midfield options are severely limited at the minute.

The Rossoneri already struggle for prolific attacking displays in the Champions League, and while making the net ripple domestically is never normally an issue for Pioli’s team, their powers should wane against a Dortmund side who possess plenty of defensive wherewithal in front of the home crowd.


Leipzig will fancy their chances against Manchester City 

For the first time since January of last season, Man City have suffered back-to-back losses in all competitions after following up their EFL Cup third-round defeat at Newcastle United with a 2-1 loss at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League last weekend; the Citizens had lost only two of their previous 41 games before this spell.

Manchester City players

Man City’s impressive form in the Champions League bodes well in their quest to avoid a third successive defeat, as they have only lost two of their last 30 matches in the group stage, while they extended their overall unbeaten run in the competition to 14 games when they came from behind at half time to beat Red Star 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium in gameweek one.

However, the treble winners have failed to win in each their last four visits to Germany including both of their previous two trips to Leipzig, with the aforementioned 1-1 draw last season preceded by a 2-1 defeat at the Red Bull Arena in the 2021-22 Champions League group stage.

Man City may have breezed to victory in their last meeting with Leipzig, but a much closer affair is set to be in store on Wednesday considering the contrasting form of the two teams.

Leipzig will fancy their chances of breaching City’s backline, but the expected return of Rodri is a huge boost for the visitors, who we believe will bounce back from their recent setbacks to claim maximum points, especially if Haaland laces up his shooting boots.



Injury-hit Porto defence rally to face Barcelona

Both on the hunt for back-to-back wins in Champions League Group H, Porto and Barcelona prepare for battle at the Estadio do Dragao this evening.

Sergio Conceicao‘s side put Shakhtar Donetsk to the sword 3-1 in their continental opener, while the Spanish champions produced a five-star performance to destroy Royal Antwerp.

Barcelona players

Porto have navigated their last three Champions League matches at the Estadio do Dragao without suffering defeat, but they are still waiting for their first home clean sheet of the season, and Barcelona needed no second invitation to capitalise on defensive frailties on matchday one.

Barcelona seek to improve a measly record of just two wins from their last seven Champions League away matches, and the head-to-head column certainly makes for pleasant reading for Xavi’s charges.

Indeed, Barcelona have prevailed in each of their last four meetings with Porto, but it has been over 12 years since the two sides last locked horns in a competitive fixture.

Porto’s stellar home feats coupled with Barcelona’s struggles for Champions League successes away from their Catalan headquarters could make Wednesday’s affair a trickier one than it would appear on paper for Xavi’s side, but the visitors’ attacking qualities should soon come to the fore.

Alongside their injury-hit defence, Porto’s morale would have taken a hit with their painful loss to Benfica at the weekend, and we have faith in Barcelona to make it two wins from two in Group H.



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