AC Milan open their Champions League campaign in front of over 65,000 fans at the San Siro against Newcastle United as Sandro Tonali returns home. Stefano Pioli needs a strong response after the heavy defeat in the derby a few days ago. Can Milan pick up a first win in the Group of Death?
Form Guide (all competitions)
Milan: W, W, W, L
Newcastle: W, L, L, L, W
Players to Watch
A first start is expected for the Nigeria international after four games coming off the bench when a game is pretty much done. He has not done much since joining and some fans are wondering why he was hyped up in the summer. This is an opportunity for the former Villarreal winger to show his quality. He has pace, can take on his man and contributes with goals and assists. He needs to have a good game and show the San Siro he can hold down that right wing spot. He will be going up against Trippier who he will know from their time in La Liga but should be able to take him on for pace. Given Schar and Botman in the middle, his crosses will need to be pinpoint to find Giroud amongst the big defenders.
A big night for the former Milan midfielder. Tonali was a lifelong Milanista and it hurt the fans when he was sold. Financially it made sense and seeing the performance of the signings, it was the right thing to do but we are romantics as fans and wish that he did not have to leave. Tonali will face 65,000 fans but they will not cheer for him during the game. The atmosphere will have an impact on him, it would be painful if he manages to score against us or even if Newcastle get the win. The biggest threat with Tonali is that he will know Pioli’s system and will have the physicality to limit some of the current midfielders especially as Pobega is starting.
Tomori’s blunder against Roma which got him sent off for the derby is a big reason for us getting pummelled at the weekend. He needs to show his nerve and put in a strong performance. He keeps getting overlooked by Southgate and he struggled against Chelsea last season but came up big against Tottenham. It is important he turns up to these big games against English opposition and shows his solidity in defence. He will have a task with Isak and his pace but he really must keep calm and get into his groove.
Prediction: Milan 1-0 Newcastle