EDDIE HOWE has ruled out handing one of his players a man-to-man marking job on Kylian Mbappe this evening.

Newcastle entertain Paris St Germain in their first Champions League home game for more than two decades tonight, with the visitors boasting Mbappe, arguably the world’s best player, in their ranks.

The French forward has been passed 100 per cent fit after struggling with a minor injury issue last month, but while some managers would attempt to neuter his attacking threat by stationing an opponent to follow his every move, Howe will not be adopting that tactic.

The Newcastle head coach said: “It’s a very, very difficult assignment for us, defensively. But our defensive record over the last few games has been really strong, and our performance as a team has been very strong too.

“I think we’re going to need that team-work. It’s never down to one player – I’ve never believed in that way of man-to-man marking – it will be about our team structure and making sure we do a really good job in our units to deny space.

“If we can do that, then maybe we can keep the best player in the world at the moment quiet.”


Newcastle’s energetic, high-pressing approach has been a key part of their success under Howe, but it has not always worked against the very best sides in the Premier League.

Howe will not be abandoning his preferred tactics this evening, but admits his players will have to strike the right balance between pressing Paris St Germain’s players high up the field and ensuring they do not leave themselves wide open to an opposition counter-attack.

He said: “That is part of our challenge, to deliver what we need to deliver in terms of our off-the-ball game plan. We need to get the balance right between not leaving too much space in behind but making sure we don’t do that at the risk of not creating enough disturbance in their build-up.

“We have to be perfect in that respect. If you look back at our last run of games, then I think we’ve done that really well, especially against Burnley in our last Premier League game where we produced a really good performance off the ball.”