Being again within the Champions League means completely every little thing to Newcastle followers. They’d been starved underneath the earlier proprietor Mike Ashley. They only existed underneath his stewardship, they’d no alternative to get again to Europe’s prime desk.
Sure, they’d that one season within the Europa League underneath Alan Pardew again in 2013 however that was a one-off – and it was seen by the hierarchy as one thing they did not need.
It was seen as a distraction from the league, and there was a sense amongst supporters that every one Ashley wished was for them to remain within the Premier League and choose up the prize cash yearly.
It feels good for the followers to be again, they’re again on the prime desk and competing with among the prime golf equipment, and giving them a day trip. The group contains some sensible journeys, Milan then Dortmund and Paris. It is some nice alternatives to look at the membership play on the European stage with an actual hope they’ll get by way of the group.
When the draw was made, it regarded like a gaggle of demise – it regarded tough on paper, however all three squads are weaker than in earlier years. PSG have not obtained Neymar or Lionel Messi, Dortmund have not obtained Jude Bellingham, Milan have not obtained Sandro Tonali.
I might say Newcastle are pretty much as good as, if not higher, than Milan, however it’s about how they deal with the San Siro and the house followers, who as everyone knows are very unstable and may make issues very tough for away followers.
The followers could have a good time. They’re going to outwardly say they’re simply pleased to be right here, however they will wish to make certain they get out of the group.
I took a wander right down to one of many canals the place the followers are earlier, and so they’re having a whale of a time. It is one thing they’ve missed for thus lengthy. A few of the prime six and even the Scottish groups who’re so used to moving into European competitors can take it as a right – that will not be the case for Newcastle.
They have a era of supporters right here who’ve by no means seen them play in Europe earlier than. It is one thing new for them, and one thing to treasure.
I anticipate Eddie Howe to revert again to the tried and trusted on Tuesday. Callum Wilson performed the total 90 minutes on Saturday in a 1-0 win. He educated on his personal on Monday, and I anticipate Alexander Isak to come back again in.
The again 4 picks itself, however there are a number of positions which may very well be modified.
I feel Tonali will come again in as a result of Joelinton’s harm, alongside Bruno Guimaraes and Sean Longstaff.
I feel Miguel Almiron will exchange Harvey Barnes on the proper of the entrance three, as Eddie Howe goes again to his favoured gamers from the primary few video games of the season who did so properly, notably in opposition to Aston Villa.
They’re going to miss Joelinton badly – his legs, vitality and what he brings to the staff – simply as they’re lacking Joe Willock. However because of this they purchased the likes of Tonali and saved Longstaff. They have choices now and the squad is stronger than final season.
There are gamers like Kieran Trippier, who has performed in a Champions League ultimate, Guimaraes who has performed within the competitors for Lyon. However actually, trying on the squad there’s numerous gamers who have not.
Dan Burn, Longstaff, Wilson have not, neither Almiron nor Anthony Gordon. Sure, they will have others who’ve completed it earlier than, however it’s a brand new expertise for a lot of.
It will be attention-grabbing to see how they deal with the event, one thing utterly totally different to what they’re used to, an entire new problem.
If Newcastle take some extent, I feel they’d be more than pleased. It will be tough on the again of Milan’s outcome on the weekend, and you’ll inform they’re actually determined to make up for it. Stefano Pioli has stated he owes a person apology to each AC Milan fan – and he needs his gamers to exit and show some extent on Tuesday.
I do not know if Newcastle are literally getting them at time. Sure, they received on the weekend, however it’s not as free-flowing as final season – and it seems like they want a bit longer to stand up to hurry.
A win could be unbelievable, and leaving with some extent could be greater than acceptable. However with the stadium, the environment and the outcome on the weekend, Milan might be favourites to spoil Newcastle’s Champions League return.