Newcastle United are back in the Champions League after a long absence. Following the club’s takeover in 2021 by a consortium that includes Saudi Arabia’s state-run Public Investment Fund (PIF), Newcastle became one of the new big players in English football and will now look to do the same at the Champions League level.
With more investments, the club from the North of England now has a very competitive team that features a number of top-class players.
Newcastle can count on a squad that combines experience with youth, considering names like Bruno Guimarães, Joelintion, Kieran Trippier, as well as former BVB striker, Alexander Isak.
With Isak in the mix, Borussia Dortmund will have to face at least one former player against every opponent from Group F.
Beyond the players who helped Newcastle reach the top four in the Premier League last season, their manager Eddie Howe has been a very steady presence since taking over. They also made some big-money signings in the summer, bringing in Sandro Tonali from AC Milan and Harvey Barnes to provide more depth to an already well-shaped squad.
Despite the initial excitement from fans, Newcastle have endured a rough start to the season. With two wins and three losses in the Premier League, including a frustrating defeat at home against 10-men Liverpool, they are still trying to find their footing.
Tactically, Newcastle like to play in a 4-3-3 formation with a strong defensive system that is dominant in aerial duels – a recurring problem for Borussia Dortmund. They also have a talented midfield with Guimarães, Joelintion, and Tonali, and a young attacking trio of Gordon, Isak, and Almirón that will put even the best defences to the test.
Since Newcastle are returning after a long time away from the competition, Borussia Dortmund could look to exploit their lack of experience and know-how. But at the same time, the Magpies cannot be underestimated as they have a well-structured sports project and a solid manager, and will look to make a big splash in the competition.
In this group of death, there is no such thing as an easy opponent or guaranteed three points. All four teams in Group F are good enough to compete for a top two finish.
A third place and a spot in the Europa League would not be disastrous in those circumstances, but a club of Borussia Dortmund’s stature must look to eye a spot in the knockout stages. In order to do that, they will have to perform at a higher standard than they have done so far this season.