Newcastle return to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years when they take on European giants AC Milan this evening and the clash will be live on talkSPORT.
The Magpies have not dined in the European rankings since a 2-0 defeat to Barcelona in March 2003, but now meet seven-time winners Milan.
Eddie Howe’s side prepared for their return to the big time by ending a three-game losing run after beating Brentford 1-0.
Callum Wilson’s penalty was enough to seal Newcastle’s first Premier League victory since the opening weekend as the Toon moved back to 11th.
And the club will be keen to try their luck in Italy, with Milan licking their wounds after a humbling 5-1 defeat to old foes Inter.
This opening Group F clash could already prove crucial to both teams’ chances of qualifying, with European heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain and Borrusia Dortmund making up this year’s group of death.
AC Milan vs Newcastle: talkSPORT coverage
This Champions League clash will take place on Tuesday September 19.
Kick-off at San Siro is scheduled for 5.45pm UK time.
talkSPORT will provide live coverage of the clash in Italy, presented by Adrian Durham and Darren Bent from the Etihad Stadium.
Comments will then come from Sam Matterface and former Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.
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AC Milan vs Newcastle: team news
The hosts can welcome back England defender Fikayo Tomori after his suspension for the defeat to Inter.
Milan are still missing fellow defender Pierre Kalulu due to a thigh problem, with Ismael Bennacer out for a long time.
For Newcastle, Sandro Tonali is set to return to his boyhood club after being an unused substitute against Brentford following a minor injury sustained on international duty.
Joelinton became the latest to be sidelined for Newcastle, with the Brazilian joining Joe Willock and Emil Krafth in the treatment room.
AC Milan vs Newcastle: What was said?
Alan Pardew, who was the last manager to take Newcastle on a European trip, has reflected on the Toon’s upcoming Champions League campaign.
Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT.com, he said: “They were never going to be an easy group because they were in pot four.
“These games are going to be high profile against teams that are much more established and have a lot more experience than Newcastle.
“But Newcastle were the only team in pot four that no one wanted, believe me.
“The power of new ownership, the leadership of Eddie Howe and a great team make for a powerful combination.
“I think fans will wear them, especially at home games.
“They need to get a draw because at home these other teams are going to find it an experience.”
AC Milan vs Newcastle: Match Facts
- In their last appearance in the UEFA Champions League (2002–03), Newcastle United became the first team to lose their first three matches while qualifying for the next round. Atalanta in 2019-20 are the only team to have achieved this goal since.
- This will be Newcastle’s third appearance in the UEFA Champions League, having previously featured in the 1997-98 and 2002-03 campaigns. Their last match was 20 years and 184 days ago, which is the longest gap between matches for an English team in the competition.
- Semi-finalist last season, Milan have only been eliminated in the first round of the group stage in one of their last 14 UEFA Champions League campaigns (2021-22).
- This will be Milan’s 20th UEFA Champions League campaign, the second of any Italian team after Juventus (23). After seven seasons away between 2014-15 and 2020-21, this is their third consecutive campaign in the competition.
- Newcastle won their last European away match against an Italian club, beating Palermo 1-0 in the 2006-07 UEFA Cup. Before that, they had not won any of their first four trips to Italy (2 draws, 2 defeats).
- This is the first ever competitive meeting between Milan and Newcastle. Milan have won just one of their last 11 matches against English teams (D2 L8), although that came against Spurs in last season’s UEFA Champions League (1-0).
- Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali played in all 12 of Milan’s UEFA Champions League matches last season, with a total of 1,053 minutes played, which is not only the most of any Milan player, but also that of all outfielders in 2022-23.
- Only Vinícius Júnior (47) has had more UEFA Champions League goals than Rafael Leão (39) in 2022-23, while the Portuguese has had both the most expected goals (1.2) and of assists (1.2) after restarts. of any player in the competition last season.
- Newcastle have a win rate of 56% in UEFA Champions League home matches (W5 D0 L4), compared to just 22% away from home (W2 D2 L5).
- Milan have won their last two UEFA Champions League group stage matches (4-0 against Dinamo Zagreb and FC Red Bull Salzburg) and will be looking to win three in a row in the group stage for the first time since September 2006 under Carlo Ancelotti (3).
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