Newcastle Utd. Shakes Up Champions League ‘Group of Death’: Sportsbooks React
Posted on: October 5, 2023, 09:04h.
Last updated on: October 5, 2023, 10:56h.
Few expected Newcastle Utd. to humble the mighty Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday. But that’s exactly what happened on a boisterous night at St James’ Park that will live long in the memory of the Newcastle faithful. The EPL team ran out 4-1 winners against the French champions.
Goals from Miguel Almiron, Fabian Schar, and local boys Dan Burn and Sean Longstaff stunned PSG, whose squad includes Kilian Mbappe, and at $1 billion, is one of the most expensively assembled in soccer history.
Newcastle, whose form has been spotty in the EPL this season (an 8-0 hammering of Sheffield Utd. aside), is making its first return to the Champions League in 21 years. Drawn into the so-called “Group of Death,” with PSG, AC Milan, and Borussia Dortmund, the team previously managed a nervous 0-0 draw against Milan in the tournament’s first game.
Struggled to Press
As good as Newcastle were on Wednesday, PSG struggled to get going in the game. They failed to register a shot on target in the first half in a thunderous atmosphere in Northeast England. It’s the first time that has happened in a PSG Champions League match in more than a decade.
I am responsible for what happened this evening,” said PSG manager Luis Enrique. “My team’s attitude was very good throughout. The outcome of the game was fair, my players struggled with their pressing game. We made some careless mistakes which at this level you cannot afford to do.”
PSG was a strong favorite to win this group at the outset at 4/6. But the odds have shifted. Newcastle and PSG are now joint favorites, both at 6/4. The Group of Death has been blown wide open.
Meanwhile, the top four favorites to win the competition outright remain the same, with reigning champion Man City leading the pack at 9/4, followed by Bayern Munich (5/1), Real Madrid (15/2), and Arsenal (10/1).
Arsenal’s odds have drifted slightly after the team’s surprise 2-1 defeat to French team Lens on Tuesday night. The misery was compounded for the North London side when star winger Bukayo Saka limped off in the first half with a suspected hamstring injury.
Saka’s absence will be felt when Arsenal host Man City on Sunday in one of the most important EPL games of the season. City is the favorite to win that one, at 6/4, with Arsenal at 2/1.
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