Could Champions League scheduling hand Newcastle an advantage?

Arsenal and Manchester City are looking to strengthen defensively during January
Arsenal and Manchester City are looking to strengthen defensively during January

CHAMPIONS League hopefuls Manchester City and Arsenal will both face Newcastle United in the same week as a crucial European fixture in the new year.

For the second season running, Premier League champions Man City have been drawn to face Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The first leg of that tie, at the Etihad Stadium, has been scheduled for February 24 – three days after a Premier League game against Newcastle at the same venue.

Arsenal, meanwhile, will play Monaco over two legs, with the away tie scheduled for March 17 – four days before Arsenal are due to travel to St James’s Park.

Newcastle will be hopeful the challenge of competing on both fronts for City and Arsenal could play into their hands and give them a slight advantage in the Premier League fixtures.