Newcastle's Champions League hopes were given a huge lifeline after Milan's 2-1 win over PSG – but what do the Magpies still need to stay in Europe? Mail Sport takes a look at all NINE permutations in the 'Group of Death'
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Newcastle's Champions League hopes were given a huge lifeline after Milan's 2-1 win over PSG – but what do the Magpies still need to stay in Europe? Mail Sport takes a look at all NINE permutations in the 'Group of Death'

Nov 20, 2023

AC Milan’s surprise 2-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain was both the best and worst news for Newcastle United in the Champions League‘s Group of Death.

It improved their chances of making the last 16, but also increased the likelihood of them missing out on the Europa League by finishing bottom of the group.

Eddie Howe said after Newcastle’s 2-0 defeat in Dortmund on Tuesday that his side would have to win both remaining matches at PSG and at home to Milan to make it out of the group, but that is no longer the case.

Here, Mail Sport takes a look at the NINE possible permutations for Newcastle…

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said his side must win their last two games to stay in the Champions League after the English club were beaten 2-0 by Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said his side must win their last two games to stay in the Champions League after the English club were beaten 2-0 by Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday

Callum Wilson (front) and Bruno Guimaraes (back) cut frustrated figures after Tuesday's defeat

Callum Wilson (front) and Bruno Guimaraes (back) cut frustrated figures after Tuesday’s defeat

AC Milan's shock 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night handed Newcastle a lifeline in the Champions League but worsened their odds of finishing third in the tricky group

AC Milan’s shock 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night handed Newcastle a lifeline in the Champions League but worsened their odds of finishing third in the tricky group

BEAT PSG & MILAN

They would be guaranteed to qualify for the last 16, finishing on 10 points. Dortmund would need to beat only one of Milan and PSG in their remaining two games to finish top. If Dortmund picked up only a point or less, then Newcastle would advance as group winners.

It should be remembered, Newcastle cannot finish above Dortmund if they are the only two teams tied on points because of Borussia’s superior head-to-head record.

BEAT PSG & DRAW WITH MILAN

This is where it starts to get a little complicated. Newcastle would finish on eight points, and usually that is not enough to progress. However, should Dortmund avoid defeat in both games against Milan and PSG, then Newcastle would take second spot in this scenario.

But were Dortmund to lose both then Newcastle would finish third, as they would if Dortmund were to draw or win in Milan and then lose to PSG.

If you flip that, and Dortmund lose in Milan but then drew with or beat PSG, Newcastle would still finish third.

DRAW WITH PSG & BEAT MILAN

Like the above scenario, this would leave Newcastle on eight points. Milan could not finish above them. Dortmund would need only a point to finish above Newcastle, but PSG would need to beat Dortmund in their final game to advance instead of Newcastle.

This scenario perhaps offers Newcastle most hope, knowing they can get a draw in Paris and still have a decent chance of progressing to the last 16.

The Magpies now have an uphill task of remaining in the Champions League - and could fail to secure a place in the Europa League knockouts if they finished bottom of the 'Group of Death'

The Magpies now have an uphill task of remaining in the Champions League – and could fail to secure a place in the Europa League knockouts if they finished bottom of the ‘Group of Death’

Newcastle must first take on Kylian Mbappe's PSG, whom they beat 4-1 in the reverse fixture

Newcastle must first take on Kylian Mbappe’s PSG, whom they beat 4-1 in the reverse fixture

The club's final group stage match is against Olivier Giroud's AC Milan at home in December

The club’s final group stage match is against Olivier Giroud’s AC Milan at home in December

BEAT PSG & LOSE TO MILAN

Newcastle would finish on seven points, behind both Dortmund and Milan. The Magpies would then need Dortmund to take points off PSG in the last group game to make sure they finish third and qualify for the Europa League.

LOSE TO PSG & BEAT MILAN

Again, on seven points, there is no way for Newcastle to make the last 16 but they would take third if Milan did not beat Dortmund on Matchday Five.

DRAW BOTH GAMES

They would finish bottom, unless Dortmund beat Milan on Matchday Five, in which case they would take third.

DRAW WITH PSG & LOSE TO MILAN

Newcastle finish bottom.

LOSE TO PSG & DRAW WITH MILAN

Newcastle finish bottom.

LOSE BOTH GAMES

Newcastle finish bottom.

The Magpies started the group well but have since suffered successive defeats by Dortmund

The Magpies started the group well but have since suffered successive defeats by Dortmund

SUMMARY

There is hope, and that has been aided by Milan beating PSG in Tuesday’s later kick-off. 

However, if Newcastle lose in Paris later this month and Milan beat Dortmund at the San Siro on the same night, Howe’s team are guaranteed to finish bottom of the group.

The OptaAnalyst gives Newcastle a 31 per cent chance of making the last 16, but they say the most likely outcome is them finishing fourth (41 per cent).

Those numbers tell you that it’s all still to play, but Newcastle will have to play better than they have during back-to-back defeats against Dortmund if they are to turn the odds in their favour.

IT’S ALL KICKING OFF! 

It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

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