AC Milan (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & prediction

Writing this preview feels like a pinch me moment in itself. Exactly two years ago, we had just drawn 1-1 with Leeds at St James’ Park, keeping Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United winless and without hope just weeks into the new season.

Fast forward a few years and everything has changed. After our thoroughly deserved top-four finish under Eddie Howe, we return to the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 20 years, kicking off with an iconic trip to the San Siro to play last year’s semi finalists, AC Milan.

Eddie Howe and the squad actually arrived late in Italy, with the flight delayed due to heavy storms in Italy, but that didn’t stop the Toon Army painting the city black and white on Monday night.

It feels surreal but so exciting. I just hope we play with no fear and do ourselves justice. Saturday’s win wasn’t pretty, but it was exactly what we needed, giving us a much-needed lift ahead of our second game in four days. Milan are in the same boat, yet they’ll be the side under pressure, arriving on the back of a 5-1 defeat to fierce rivals Inter Milan just as we won at St James’ Park.

There’s plenty subplots, too. Sandro Tonali back at his boyhood club following a £55m summer move, Sven Botman against the club he turned down in favour of a move to Tyneside. 20 years on from Alan Shearer’s famous brace under Sir Bobby, who’ll be the hero at the San Siro this time?

Whether you’re in the stadium singing your heart out or sat on your sofa at home, we’ll feel proud, excited and pretty emotional when that Champions League anthem plays!

Team news

Joelinton (knee) has been ruled out for a ‘few weeks’, but Sandro Tonali has been passed fit and looks set to return to the squad after he was an unused substitute on Saturday. Joe Willock (Achilles) and Emil Krafth remain out, however.

For the hosts, Fikayo Tomori is back from a ban after missing their drubbing to Inter, but fellow…

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Author : Olly Hawkins

Publish date : 2023-09-18 19:09:48

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