The thought of Kylian Mbappe stepping out at St. James’ Park in the next Champions League group game is something that’s likely to both excite and put the fear of God into Newcastle fans.
On the big European nights, the decibel levels at the famous old ground get taken to new levels, and given that the October 4 date is the first time the club will host a Champions League game in over 20 years, you can bet that the atmosphere will be rocking well before a ball is kicked.
A 0-0 draw against Milan in their opening game is just about the best result the Magpies could’ve hoped for in the circumstances, and it sets them up nicely for the visit of Paris Saint-Germain in just under two weeks time.
The ‘group of death’ it may be, but Newcastle have their fortunes in their own hands. If they’re able to stifle Mbappe and his team-mates, there’s every reason to believe that they could go on to win the match, just as they did against a fancied Barcelona side in 1997.
Former Leeds manager, Jesse Marsch, speaking on CBS Sports, believes the Frenchman will relish putting on a performance on Tyneside.
“Mbappe likes the big show,” he said (h/t HITC).
“So, anytime he likes to play in front of a big crowd and show his quality. I think he will be up for the match.
“Certainly, this is the toughest group. When you look at the four teams. Whoever comes out on top will have to play six really good matches and have some luck along the way.”
There’s more to PSG than just Mbappe of course, but there’s no doubting that he is the danger man and the player who needs to be kept quiet for 90 minutes.
Easier said than done.