The UEFA Champions League roars back into action, and one fixture that’s caught the attention of football enthusiasts is the showdown between AC Milan and Newcastle. As the Magpies make their long-awaited return to Europe’s elite competition, can they hold their own against last season’s semi-finalists? Here, we dive into our predictions and free betting tips for what promises to be an intriguing encounter.
AC Milan vs. Newcastle Predictions: A Clash of Attack-Minded Teams
- AC Milan conceded in eight of their 12 European games last season.
- Newcastle has found the net in four of their first five matches this season.
- Olivier Giroud has struck four goals in four games for the Rossoneri, showcasing his lethal form.
Newcastle Returns to the Big Stage
Newcastle United’s return to the UEFA Champions League after a 20-year hiatus is nothing short of a fairy tale. Their first European fixture in two decades, scheduled at the iconic San Siro, is set to be a special moment for Eddie Howe’s side.
Despite the grandeur of this occasion, Newcastle faces a formidable challenge in a tough group that includes PSG and Borussia Dortmund. While bookmakers have pegged the Magpies as second-favorites to progress from the group, it may be premature to label them as such, given the strength of their opponents, especially AC Milan.
Milan’s Experience is Their Edge
AC Milan is no stranger to the Champions League. They made it to the semi-finals last season and have an illustrious history in the competition. Their track record in the early stages of the Champions League is impressive, having been eliminated from the first-round group stage in just one of their last 14 campaigns.
The Rossoneri boast a squad brimming with experience, led by Olivier Giroud. The French striker has been in scintillating form, finding the net in three of his last four games for Milan, tallying four goals in that span. Giroud was pivotal in Milan’s journey to the Champions League semi-finals, netting five goals in seven games, including four in six group stage appearances. His prolific form makes him a key figure to watch against Newcastle, who have already faced torrid times defensively this season.
Goals Expected in an Open Encounter
While Newcastle should approach the match with caution, Milan’s defensive frailties this season provide hope for the visitors. The Rossoneri recently suffered a 5-1 defeat to Inter Milan, marking their third consecutive game without a clean sheet.
Last season, AC Milan conceded in eight of their 12 Champions League fixtures, indicating vulnerability at the back. In contrast, Newcastle has shown an ability to find the back of the net, scoring in four of their initial five matches this season, with only Manchester City managing to shut them out.
Given both teams’ propensity to concede this season and the presence of attacking talents like Alexander Isak, Callum Wilson, and Miguel Almiron for Newcastle, expect an open contest. Betting on both teams to score seems like a prudent choice.
As AC Milan and Newcastle collide in the Champions League, the stage is set for a clash of contrasting narratives. The seasoned European campaigners, Milan, aim to capitalize on their experience, led by the prolific Olivier Giroud. However, the Magpies, making their triumphant return, won’t be intimidated, especially considering Milan’s defensive woes. Expect goals and an entertaining contest as both sides aim to make a statement on this grand European stage.