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Newcastle United set for Champions League group of death despite qualification success

The Magpies confirmed their place on Monday, but could face a nasty shock

Newcastle United are certain to be facing a tricky group in the Champions League next season after they confirmed their place in Europe’s elite competition for the first time since 2004 on Monday.

Needing just a point to be sure of qualification, the Magpies drew 0-0 with Leicester City at St James Park, sending the Tyneside club into the Champions League, and ensuring their first European football since the 2012-2013 season, when they took part in the Europa League before eventually being knocked out by Benfica.

Now, however, they will have a much tougher time of things.

Because Eddie Howe’s side haven’t been in a European competition since 2013, they have no European coefficient (which is taken from participation in Europe across the last decade). So, while Arsenal will likely be in pot 2, Newcastle will find themselves in pot 4, which could spring a nasty surprise.

The Tyneside club are guaranteed to come up against one of Barcelona, Paris Saint Germain, Napoli, Bayern Munich/Borussia Dortmund, Roma/Sevilla, Benfica or Feyenoord, while Real Madrid could feature if they beat Manchester City in the Champions League final.

Beyond that, they could also face the giants of pot 2, which looks set to include Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig and FC Porto, while AC Milan wait in pot 3 alongside several other banana skins.

Expected to strengthen heavily this summer, Newcastle fans probably will not care who they draw, with the focus on getting back into Europe’s elite competition, and should they continue to improve as they have in the last 18 months, they will have dreams of winning the entire competition.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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