TNT Sports’ Lynsey Hipgrave is looking forward to Newcastle United’s “absolutely fantastic” Champions League Group despite their big name opponents.
Newcastle have spent two decades away from European club football’s biggest tournament but after their takeover by a Saudi-backed fund, their heavy investment last season was rewarded with a top-four finish under Eddie Howe.
The Champions League will be shown live all the way until the final next year on TNT Sports, and Newcastle will need to get past Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan if they are to stand a chance of getting to the season finale.
Far from wanting an easy draw, Newcastle fan Hipgrave wanted tough opponents off the bat to get back into the swing of big European nights in the north east.
She said: I think everyone’s calling it the ‘group of death’ but I’m like, this is the ‘group of fun’. Group F is just absolutely fantastic. I wanted the big teams before the draw took place, because we’ve just waited so long for this to come around, we’ve waited like 20 years.
“I just wanted those glamour ties, those iconic stadiums, so for the fans to go to some of the best grounds in world football is just amazing.
“There’s going to be fireworks, and I think none of those teams are going to want to come to St James’ Park. Can you imagine when Dortmund actually come to St James’ Park? It is going to go off. And vice versa over there. It’s going to be like ‘Wor Flags’ against Yellow Wall. It’s just such a good match-up. And [Sandro] Tonali going back to Milan, that’s such a great story.
“But after 20 years, to be at the San Siro is just perfect. I genuinely think we can get out of that group, because I think the St James’ Park factor, the home games. The first three games, obviously away at Milan, then PSG and Dortmund at St James’.
“If we’ve got four points after those three games I think I’ll believe it. Even if we finished third and dropped into the Europa, I’d be fine with that because after last season, if Europa League was on the cards, I’d have snapped your hands off.”
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