The Champions League group stage is back and kicks off tonight with the hugely anticipated return of Newcastle to the competition after over 20 years away. The Magpies are back at Europe’s top table less than two years after their Saudi-backed takeover, looking to make an impression on the biggest stage.
Eddie Howe & Co., though, could not have a tougher task after being drawn into the so-called ‘group of death’ along with 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 loss to city rivals Inter.
Given the strength of Group F, a win tonight would give either team a much-needed platform to build upon. Newcastle will have to do that without star midfielder Joelinton, though summer signing Sandro Tonali is ready to remind his former club of his talents. Follow the game LIVE below with our dedicated match blog below!
Standard Sport prediction
This is a really tough one. AC Milan can count themselves lucky to even be in the competition after benefiting from Juventus’ points deduction last season but have the pedigree and nous on this stage.
You can never write Newcastle off these days and no doubt every player will be determined to make their return after two decades a positive one.
Newcastle’s backline 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 beside him.
AC Milan to win, 2-1.
Newcastle team news
Alexander Isak is expected to start for Newcastle at the San Siro.
The Swede dropped out of the starting lineup for Saturday’s win over Brentford but looks likely to play alongside Miguel Almiron and Anthony Gordon in attack.
Callum Wilson, who scored the winner against the Bees, has trained individually in the build-up for the game but is not thought to be carrying an injury.
Sandro Tonali is another expected in from the off as the Italian international returns to his former club and the team he supported as a boy.
Joelinton has joined Joe Willock, Emil Krafth and Javier Manquillo on the treatment table, so 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 plenty of former Premier League players in their squad, with Olivier Giroud likely to lead the line, supported by both Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic.
How to watch AC Milan vs Newcastle
TV channel: In the UK, the game will be televised live on TNT Sports 1, with coverage beginning at 5pm.
Live stream: Subscribers can also catch the contest live online via the TNT Sports app and website.
Live blog: You can follow all the action right 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 comes at 5:45pm BST. Stay with us!