Newcastle United are preparing to embark on their long-awaited European tour as they return to the illustrious Champions League for the first time in two decades.
The Magpies haven’t opened up their Premier League account particularly well, losing three of their first five games, so they’ll be hoping their European exploits bring more fortune.
Eddie Howe and his side will travel to Italy next week as they face AC Milan at the San Siro on Tuesday the 19th of September at 17:45 GMT.
Ahead of the clash in Milan, Football FanCast has decided to bring you predicted lineups and team news for each side.
Who will start for Newcastle vs AC Milan?
League position, 11th: Newcastle have suffered three successive defeats after their thumping 5-1 opening game victory against Aston Villa. But, got things back on track with a win against Brentford on Saturday.
Nick Pope is expected to start in goal as usual. The 10-cap England international has been a mainstay since signing in a £10m deal from Burnley in the summer of 2022.
Though, the 31-year-old’s form has suffered a slight dip this term and he was left out of Gareth Southgate’s recent England squad.
Captain Kieran Trippier will almost certainly start at the San Siro, barring an injury, and he’ll bring a great deal of much-needed Champions League experience to the rest of the squad.
Trippier, during his time with Tottenham Hotspur and Atletico Madrid, has made 30 appearances in the competition – including a start in the final – and will be well-versed in the challenges teams on the continent can bring.
The centre-half pairing will likely be five-year servant Fabian Schär and £35m signing Sven Botman, who has impressed many since making the switch from Lille two summers ago. Ever present Dan Burn will start at left-back to complete the back four.
Moving into midfield brings some injury news. Sandro Tonali was a doubt just after the international break.
“He came back from Italy duty with a strain. He’s had a scan but we will see,” Howe said.
But, he did make the bench for the Brentford game, though it remains to be seen as to whether he is still fit enough to start in Italy.
Sean Longstaff could come in to deputise for Tonali whilst fan-favourite Bruno Guimãraes will likely start. Though, don’t rule out all three of the names above starting together, as Joelinton is expected to miss out.
The front three are slightly harder to predict than the rest of the team. Having bought Harvey Barnes for sizable money from Leicester City this summer, it’s a toss-up between him and Anthony Gordon at left wing, but the latter has started all of the Magpies’ opening four games, so we’ll give the Merseysider the nod.
Up front brings a similar challenge with the competition between Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson but the Sweden international has been favoured more from the off despite Wilson’s two goals as a substitute this season.
And on the right will likely be Miguel Almiron, who has little competition in that area of the pitch. The 29-year-old has started all four games this term.
Newcastle’s predicted XI: Nick Pope; Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schär, Sven Botman, Dan Burn; Sean Longstaff, Bruno Guimãraes, Sandro Tonali; Anthony Gordon, Alexander Isak, Miguel Almiron.
Who will start for AC Milan vs Newcastle?
League position, 3rd: AC Milan had won their opening three games, but suffered an embarrassing 5-1 defeat at the hands of Inter Milan this past weekend.
Highly-rated shot stopper Mike Maignan is expected to start in between the sticks. The 28-year-old is widely considered as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and has a wealth of experience in the Champions League.
Milan captain Davide Calabria will likely start at right-back whilst Fikayo Tomori is expected to make his return to action after missing the Inter game through injury. 2001-born defender Malick Thiaw will pair up with Tomori at centre-back and the French World Cup-winner Theo Hernandez will complete the back four.
In midfield, Bosnia and Herzegovina international Rade Krunic will likely line up alongside summer signing Ruben Loftus-Cheek as a double pivot.
Another former Chelsea player in the form of Christian Pulisic is expected to start out wide whilst £17.2m signing Tijjani Reijnders could start in the 10 role.
Milan’s danger man and borderline world-class winger Rafael Leão will line up on the left. The 24-year-old has started the season in marvellous form, registering three goal contributions in as many games. Trippier can expect a tough one-on-one battle throughout the match.
And up top should see veteran forward Olivier Giroud. He’ll be a familiar name to Newcastle fans thanks to his spells at Arsenal and Chelsea. The towering 6 ft 4 centre-forward has netted four goals in three outings this term and could be a thorn in Howe’s side come Tuesday evening.
AC Milan’s predicted XI: Mike Maignan; Davide Calabria, Fikayo Tomori, Malick Thiaw, Theo Hernandez; Rade Krunic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek; Christian Pulisic, Tijjani Reijnders, Rafael Leão; Olivier Giroud.
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