Newcastle United are back in the Champions League after over 20 years of absence from Europe's top competition. Drawn against AC Milan, PSG, and Dortmund, many have written Newcastle off already, but for fans, this is the perfect group. Newcastle will face off against AC Milan away in the first game and here are our key players from the expected Newcastle United lineup vs AC Milan.
Current Newcastle United stats – Bad form behind them?
Newcastle United have had a pretty odd start to the season. An incredible 5-1 win against Aston Villa, was followed by three defeats to Man City, Liverpool, and Brighton. Thankfully for Newcastle, after the international break, they managed to get a big home win against unbeaten Brentford. It wasn't a classic Newcastle performance, and with the major changes to the lineup, a difficult evening was always expected.
Apart from their performance against Brighton, Newcastle actually looked okay in their defeats. However, the late loss to 10-man Liverpool was a game to forget for Howe's team. Newcastle improved against Brentford, but the signs of a nervous team were evident.
Newcastle United Lineup VS AC Milan – Our top three
Newcastle will have a lot to do when they face AC Milan, one of Europe's elite clubs. But, are they right now the team of legend, or could Newcastle expose a flaw. Newcastle are far from the finished article under Howe, but last season showed they can punish teams, and their playing style might favour European football.
In particular, Isak could be key to this, especially away from home, with his pace and control of the ball making him the ideal focal point for the Magpies on the counter.
Isak is one of the few Newcastle players with experience in Europe already, and the Swedish striker will be crucial for Newcastle. His pace and tricky feet could devastate an AC Milan back line that shipped five goals against Milan rivals Inter only on Saturday. With Gordon and Almiron likely to flank him, Isak won't be short of backup either.
Rafael Leão is the key man for AC Milan, and Howe will be thankful that he has such an experienced full-back in Tripper to cover him. While Trippier played the full 90 minutes against Brentford, we can't see a scenario where he doesn't play. Trippier has averaged a 7.11 rating on Whoscored this season already, and while he lacks pace, his football intelligence is unrivalled.
It's likely he'll have Almiron in front of him for cover for when he ventures forward.
It was always written in the stars that Tonali would face off against AC Milan in the season he moved away. Some pundits were quick to criticise Tonali after the games against Brighton and Man City, but his dominant display against Aston Villa shows what he can do. He's undoubtedly going to be a key man against his former team.
That winning feeling! 😁😁 pic.twitter.com/MIGkoyHDAP
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) September 16, 2023
The Final Word
This is Newcastle's first game in the Champions League in over 20 years. If Newcastle can come away with any sort of result away from home, it'd be a huge win for the squad. AC Milan are not easy team to face, though they are certainly beatable on the latest Milan derby's evidence.
Newcastle's San Siro trip is also a huge personal test for Eddie Howe, as it marks his maiden managerial outing in continent combat. It's going to be a fascinating game regardless, and one that Newcastle can certainly get points from.