Returning to Champions League action for the first time since 2002-03, Newcastle United travel to Italy to take on seven-time UCL winners AC Milan at the iconic San Siro on Tuesday.
- Milan were thrashed 5-1 by arch-rivals Inter on Saturday
- Newcastle claimed a 1-0 victory over Brentford last time out
- This is the first competitive meeting between the two clubs
Milan and Newcastle find themselves in the so-called “group of death” alongside Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund. PSG are favoured to win Group F, but the other three sides will fancy their chances of advancing to the knockout phase.
AC Milan Form
It’s fair to say that AC Milan have not enjoyed the best preparations for their Champions League campaign, as Stefano Pioli’s men suffered a humiliating 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Inter last time out, handing their old foes all three points in the Derby della Madonnina.
Let’s not forget that Milan were also knocked out of the Champions League by Inter last season, falling to a 3-0 aggregate defeat in the semi-finals. Although the Rossoneri have won three of their four games this season, it feels like they have a point to prove on Tuesday.
Newcastle United Form
After crushing Aston Villa 5-1 on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, Newcastle suffered three successive defeats before returning to winning ways last time out, securing a much-needed 1-0 victory over Brentford at St. James’ Park on Saturday.
The Magpies are back in the big time thanks to an impressive fourth-place finish last term, with the likes of Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes and Tino Livramento arriving during the transfer window to bolster the squad. Now, Eddie Howe must take the club to the next level.
This is the first-ever meeting between AC Milan and Newcastle United, meaning there are no previous results to analyse for this fixture.
AC Milan are still without long-term injury absentees Ismael Bennacer and Mattia Caldara, while French defender Pierre Kalulu is also expected to miss Tuesday’s clash.
As for Newcastle, Joe Willock and Emil Krafth remain sidelined through injury, while Joelinton is a doubt for the trip to Italy as he continues to recover from a knee problem.
Milan’s squad is stacked with talent in every department, from goalkeeper Mike Maignan and left-back Theo Hernandez to winger Rafael Leao and striker Olivier Giroud, who has bagged four goals and two assists in four games this season.
The Magpies rely heavily on the familiar back five of Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Sven Botman and Dan Burn. Elsewhere, midfield maestro Bruno Guimaraes is a pivotal part of the Newcastle machine.
Although Milan were thrashed 5-1 last time out, the Rossoneri invariably rise to the occasion of a Champions League clash at the San Siro. Of course, Newcastle will be eager to make a statement in the curtain-raiser, but Howe’s men could struggle to lay down a marker.