The Champions League group stage is back and begins tonight with Newcastle’s highly anticipated return to the competition after more than 20 years of absence. The Magpies are back at the top of the European rankings less than two years after their Saudi-backed takeover, looking to make an impression on the biggest stage.
Eddie Howe & Co., however, couldn’t have a tougher task after being dragged into the so-called ‘group of death’ alongside Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund and tonight’s opponents. AC Milan reached the semi-finals last season but welcome Newcastle to the San Siro just three days after a 5-1 derby defeat to city rivals Inter.
Given the strength of Group F, a win tonight would give each team a much-needed platform to build on. Newcastle will have to do it without star midfielder Joelinton, although summer signing Sandro Tonali is ready to bring his talents back to his former club. Follow the match LIVE below with our dedicated match blog below!
Milan needs an answer
It’s fair to say that AC Milan aren’t exactly going into this match on a high note.
They were beaten 5-1 by Inter Milan at the weekend, bringing an abrupt end to what had been an unbeaten start to the Serie A season.
Room for improvement…
Will Man City defend their crown?
It’s no surprise to see Man City as favorites for Champions League glory, having lifted the trophy for the first time last season.
Newcastle are back at the top of the European table and are alongside Napoli and Inter Milan in the market – not much love for AC Milan.
Man City: 2/1
Bayern Munich: 11/2
Real Madrid: 8/1
Paris St-G: 12/1
Man Utd: 20/1
Napoli, Newcastle, Inter, Atlético Madrid: 25/1
AC Milan: 40/1
Odds via Betfair.
Perfect evening for this in Milan!
Standard sports prediction
This is a really difficult question. AC Milan may count themselves lucky to be in the competition after benefiting from Juventus’ points deduction last season, but they have the pedigree and the gumption at this stage.
You can never write Newcastle off these days and there is no doubt that every player will be determined to make their return after two decades a positive one.
Newcastle’s defense could well be the deciding factor here, either positively in the form of the influential Kieran Trippier or negatively in the form of the players alongside him.
AC Milan won 2-1.
Newcastle team news
Alexander Isak is expected to start for Newcastle at San Siro.
The Swede was left out of the starting line-up in Saturday’s win over Brentford, but it seems likely he will play alongside Miguel Almiron and Anthony Gordon in attack.
Callum Wilson, who scored the winner against the Bees, has been training individually in the build-up to the match but does not appear to be injured.
Sandro Tonali is another expected one from the start as the Italy international returns to his former club and the team he supported as a child.
Joelinton joined Joe Willock, Emil Krafth and Javier Manquillo on the treatment table, so he will miss the game.
Newcastle predicted XI: Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Guimaraes, Tonali, Longstaff; Almiron, Isak, Barnes
AC Milan team news
Fikayo Tomori is eligible to play for AC Milan this evening, following his Serie A suspension.
The Italian giants have many former Premier League players in their squad, with Olivier Giroud likely to lead the line, supported by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic.
How to watch AC Milan vs Newcastle
TV channel: In the United Kingdom, the match will be broadcast live on TNT Sports 1, from 5 p.m.
Direct: Subscribers can also watch the contest live online through the TNT Sports app and website.
Live blog: You can follow all the action here with us!
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of AC Milan vs Newcastle!
The Magpies are back in the Champions League and it’s a blockbuster clash to kick things off, as they travel to the San Siro to take on Milan.
We’ll have all the latest updates, build-up and team news ahead of kick-off, which takes place at 5:45pm BST. Stay with us!