5 min: Malen works his way down the right and lays off to Can, just outside the Newcastle D. The hosts are fortunate the referee nearly gets in the way, forcing Can to abort his attempt to shoot. This is fast, frenetic and a lot of fun.
3 min: Fullkrug’s loose ball in midfield is intercepted by Almiron, who attempts to send Gordon away down the left. The pass is overhit, not helped by the greasy surface. It’s been pelting down in the north-east. Goal kick. Gordon gives his team-mate the thumbs up for the right idea.
2 min: … but it’s Dortmund who take the first shot in anger. Wolf sends Malen scampering down the inside-left channel and his low shot from a tight angle is kicked away by Pope. Newcastle counter and Gordon cuts in from the left. His curler is parried by Kobel. What a start this is!
Dortmund – who have to do without their injured playmaker Julian Brandt tonight – get the ball rolling. They launch it long. Burn wins a header and earns the first reactive roar of the evening. What a noise!
The teams are out! Newcastle in their famous black and white, Dortmund in their bespoke European tweak to their equally storied neon yellow and black. Fluttering flags spell out HOWAY THE LADS. SJP is jumping. Can Der BVB survive the cauldron in a manner beyond PSG? We’ll find out PDQ. We’ll be off in a couple of minutes!
More details of the pre-match soundtrack. The Uefa house band’s cover of Zadok the Priest will be followed by the traditional St James’ Park airing of the theme from one of the greatest movies ever made.
With David Bowie’s Heroes blasting out of the St James’ Park PA system at a million decibels, Dortmund coach Edin Terzic attempts to make himself heard over the feedback drones of Robert Fripp as he speaks to TNT. “It is a great atmosphere here, but this is something we also know from Dortmund … ( ♪♫ I, I will be king ♪♫ ) … they are going to start intensely and press very hard … ( ♪♬ And you, you will be queen ♬♪ ) … we have to play with one or two touches and be dangerous … we need to counter the atmosphere … ( ♬♪ Though nothing will drive them away ♪♫♬♪ ) … we know what we are capable of doing and that is what we want to show tonight.”
Newcastle’s continental capers in pictorial form. Pop Robson leading a rout of European champions-in-waiting Feyenoord! Alan Foggon hoisting the Fairs Cup! Faustino Asprilla demolishing Barcelona single-handedly! Scott Parker bringing the sunshine upon winning the Intertoto Cup! All here for your viewing pleasure.
Eddie Howe speaks to TNT Sports. “We have to look back at the PSG game and what we did well … when we play at our best here, our off-the-ball work is a key feature … this will be a different game, though … Dortmund are a very good team, very dangerous … at home one of our key hallmarks is our intensity … I don’t think we should change for Europe … but Dortmund have different strengths and we have to try to combat those … we need the crowd like an extra man … that’s our responsibility early in the game.”
Newcastle United: Pope, Trippier, Schar, Lascelles, Burn, Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Almiron, Isak, Gordon.
Subs: Dubravka, Dummett, Tonali, Wilson, Targett, Karius, Hall, Livramento, Murphy, Willock.
Borussia Dortmund: Kobel, Wolf, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Bensebaini, Sabitzer, Can, Nmecha, Reus, Fullkrug, Malen.
Subs: Ozcan, Reyna, Haller, Moukoko, Sule, Adeyemi, Meyer, Laurenz Lotka, Bynoe-Gittens, Blank.
Referee: Artur Soares Dias (Portugal).
Newcastle United make two changes to the side sent out to rout Crystal Palace at the weekend. Callum Wilson and Jacob Murphy drop to the bench, making way for Alexander Isak and Miguel Almiron. The only change to the starting XI named for the PSG victory is Joelinton for Sandro Tonali, who will hope to come off the bench at some point this evening to say his goodbyes before an expected lengthy ban for alleged breaches of betting rules is announced. Joe Willock is also named as a sub, back in the squad for the first time since May following hamstring and Achilles issues.
Borussia Dortmund’s starting XI features a couple of old Premier League pals. Marcel Sabitzer turned out on loan for Manchester United last season, while captain Emre Can played in the final of this competition for Liverpool in 2018. Donyell Malen played youth football for Arsenal.
A welcome reminder of what happened last time round …
… and where it left Toon in the table.
Newcastle United have started their Group F campaign brilliantly: an assured draw at San Siro followed by a 4-1 rout of Kylian Mbappé’s PSG. Borussia Dortmund, not so much: they were beaten 2-0 in Paris in their opening fixture, and were held goalless at home by Milan last time round. The Toon sit atop the group; Dortmund are at the bottom having yet to find the net.
Big evening coming up on Tyneside, then. Eddie Howe’s side are coming off a confident 4-0 rout of Crystal Palace, and have scored 21 goals in their last six matches. Another goalfest tonight would see them take control of this section. Dortmund don’t lose many, though – the defeat in Paris is their only one of the season so far – and with the Germans desperate for a result that will keep them in contention, this is set up deliciously for fun. Kick off is at 8pm BST. It’s on!