September 19, (THEWILL) – The highly anticipated group stage of the 2023/2024 UEFA Champions League kicks off this week, bringing excitement for football fans across the globe, especially for fans of Newcastle.
The Magpies’ first UCL match in two decades sees them travel to Italy to face AC Milan on Tuesday. The Serie A side suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat to local rivals Inter Milan at the weekend, despite controlling the game for 70 minutes. Milan coach, Stefano Pioli, remained upbeat about his side’s performance prior to the thrashing.
Newcastle themselves ended a three-game losing streak with a win against Brentford on Saturday. Manager Eddie Howe had been under pressure following a series of defeats, but the victory over the Bees eased concerns. The Magpies are gearing up for their first UCL match since 2003, and are due to take on heavyweights Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund in Group F.
In team news, Milan have injury worries with the likes of Pierre Kalulu and Ismael Bennacer facing late fitness tests. Defender Fikayo Tomori is available again after suspension. For Newcastle, Joe Willock, Emil Krafth and Joelinton miss out through injury and several players were omitted from their European squad. Milan’s Sandro Tonali is expected to return whilst Alexander Isak may lead the line for the visitors. Kick-off at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza is 5:45pm local time.
The mouth-watering tie sees two of Europe’s most storied clubs collide. While Newcastle seek to make an impact on their return to the top European competition, the Rossoneri will want to make a statement after their weekend Milan Derby humbling.