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Newcastle United are back in the UEFA Champions League and they have a dream start in travelling to the San Siro to take on the might of AC Milan. For the first time in two decades, the Geordies will be testing themselves against Europe’s finest but they don’t enter this period in the best shape, winning just two of their five league matches with three of those defeats coming against sides who are competing in European competition this season.
AC Milan were doing absolutely fine, starting their season with three victories, including a win away at Roma, however, they were humiliated on home turf by Inter on Saturday evening, losing 5-1 to the side that also beat them twice in last season’s Champions League semi-final.
A fascinating match-up between two clubs looking to make their mark. We’ve looked at how both clubs have fared and provided our stamp on who you should pick as part of your AC Milan vs Newcastle bet builder.
AC Milan vs Newcastle Predicted Lineups
Tomori set to return to Milan defence
AC Milan were humiliated last time out by rivals Inter and change is expected to the defence, namely in the form of England international Fikayo Tomori, replacing the vastly experienced Simon Kjaer. Otherwise, much of the same XI is expected to play with more ex-Chelsea alumni remaining in the XI in the form of Olivier Giroud, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic.
Plenty of change expected for Newcastle
Unsure on their physical state after international duty and injury, Eddie Howe kept a few bodies on the bench during their 1-0 win against Brentford, deciding to give Sean Longstaff, Elliot Anderson, Callum Wilson and Harvey Barnes an opportunity after an indifferent start to the season. The big hitters are expected to return on Tuesday – Sandro Tonali, Joelinton, Alexander Isak and Miguel Almiron returning in what many see as the Magpies’ best XI.
AC Milan vs Newcastle Team Stats
Cards occurring aplenty in Milan games
The most notable aspect of Milan’s season so far is the card situation as far as the betting markets are concerned – they have picked up and drawn at least two yellow cards in all four of their matches to date. That situation is helped by both sides committing at least 12 fouls in their last three matches. They have failed to have more than ten shots in three of their matches and mustered a combined five shots on target vs Roma and Inter.
Newcastle numbers skewed by inconsistency
It’s difficult to get a full grasp on Newcastle due to the fluctuation of their performances. They managed a high number of shots and shots on target vs Aston Villa and Liverpool but managed only five combined in their other three matches. The card situation is worth looking at – they have received 17 and drawn 16 yellow cards in five league matches.
AC Milan vs Newcastle Players to Watch
Giroud is on Fire
So much for Olivier Giroud being past it. The Frenchman, who is due to turn 37 in the next couple of weeks, is still leading the line for France and remains the main man for Milan, starting the season on fire with four goals and two assists in his opening four matches. Giroud is also penalty taker for his side.
Leao a threat from the left
Rafael Leao has long been touted as a potential superstar and he has started the year brightly for Milan with three goal contributions in four matches. He is averaging 1.96 shots and 0.84 shots on target per 90 too – you can back him at 1.53 to force Nick Pope into some work in your AC Milan vs Newcastle bet builder. He’s unsurprisingly Milan’s most fouled player too – he has been fouled 11 times already this term.
Loftus-Cheek well known to English opposition
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has played against Newcastle United on numerous occasions after a long time in the Premier League with various clubs. He’s had a good start in Italy, already providing an assist while mustering 1.57 shots per game – he’s available at 1.50 to have a single shot. He has also been involved in the referee blowing his whistle on ten occasions this season.
A chance for Isak on the big stage
Isak sat out of Newcastle’s 1-0 win against Brentford at the weekend with Callum Wilson being given a first start and scoring the winner. The big Swede was simply being rested for a Champions League tie and he will fancy himself to find the net – he has two to his name this year already. He’s also finding the target regularly, managing 1.3 shots on target – he’s available at 1.44 to test Mike Maignan.
Nuisance Gordon ready to prove himself
Anthony Gordon made a huge impact for England U21s this summer and he’s ready to show Europe what he’s about once more in Milan. He has played 4.1 90s this term and already managed eight shots at goal, three of which were on target – he’s 1.44 to have two or more shots. He’s also very involved with referees, picking up four yellow cards, committing 1.95 fouls per 90 and being fouled 3.17 times.
Trippier still the out-ball for Magpies
Kieran Trippier has a very reliable right-foot and it’s one that Newcastle are building their team around – he’s the out-ball, the player tasked with keeping the ball as Newcastle look to play forward. He’s averaging over 79 attempted passes per game minutes this season and is 2.63 to make 70 or more on Tuesday.
AC Milan vs Newcastle Matchups to Watch
Kieran Trippier vs Rafael Leao
As noted above, Rafael Leao is one of Milan’s top performers and a regularly fouled footballer, averaging 3.06 drawn fouls and over five dribbles per 90. Basically, Kieran Trippier is going to have his work cut out and while he’s an excellent defender, he has still committed more than a foul per 90 minutes. Meanwhile, Leao will be tasked with stopping Trippier building the visitors’ attacks.
Bruno Guimaraes vs Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Two midfielders built on strength, energy, technical prowess and tenacity – this could be a cracking battle as they hid to get on top of the game. Guimaraes has already picked up three yellow cards, committing 2.45 fouls per 90 and drawing 2.86 – huge numbers that already mirror what he did last season. Loftus-Cheek has already committed and drawn five fouls apiece and their battle could be really fun.
Fabian Schar vs Olivier Giroud
Aggressive, front-foot Swiss vs powerful Frenchman – this battle has the hallmarks of a tough one for a referee. Giroud has been fouled 1.61 times per 90 minutes this season, making his presence known and taking the hits. Schar has committed 1.2 fouls per 90 and will be desperate to get on top of the Frenchman to keep his side in the ascendancy.
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