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Howe focused on PSG as Newcastle await magical European night

premier league newcastle united v burnley
The Magpies play their first Champions League game for 20 years

Newcastle United play their first home Champions League game since 2003 when they welcome Paris St Germain to St James’ Park on Wednesday, but manager Eddie Howe’s attention will be on the game and not the occasion.

Howe’s side began this season’s European adventure with a 0-0 draw at the San Siro against AC Milan, and now face the Ligue 1 champions.

“I can only go back to the Milan game when the same moment happened (Champions League anthem). My focus wasn’t on the music or the moment, it was just trying to help the players in any way we can,” Howe told reporters on Tuesday.

“Yes, it will be a great moment for the club as a while to be back here at home, a magical night in our stadium, but for me, it’s about focusing on the match.”

One area of focus will need to be on how to deal with threat posed up front by PSG’s Kylian Mbappe.

“It’s very difficult to combat him. Our defensive record has been strong. It’s never down to one player.

“I don’t believe in man-marking. We need to do well in our units, nullify the space and hopefully keep the best player in the world quiet.”

The Magpie’s manager also gave an update on the latest injury concerns at the club.

“Callum (Wilson) we think won’t make tomorrow but it’ll be close. As it stands he won’t make it. Joelinton is in a similar position.

“Sven (Botman) is out. He won’t play. Sandro (Tonali) is fine.”

Newcastle have won three of their four home league games this season, along with their home tie with Manchester City in the League Cup. Howe is hoping that continues in Europe.

“It’s going to be crucial for us. The away games are very difficult. Milan was a tough away game for us.

“The competition, or how well we do in it, will be based on how we do here at home. Fingers crossed we can make a good start. It’s a pivotal game in our group.”

PSG are top of Group F after their 2-0 win against Borussia Dortmund in their opening game.

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