Newcastle United must lift themselves off the canvas after a difficult run of form, which included that heartbreaking defeat to PSG in their last Champions League outing, for the visit of AC Milan to St James’ Park on Wednesday night.
The last 12 months or so have been a dream for Newcastle with everything manager Eddie Howe touching seemingly turning to gold, but the last few weeks will have been the first time that he’ll have felt real pressure as Magpies boss.
Their 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, who themselves had hit a sticky patch, was probably the most disappointing and damaging loss of the season so far and leaves Howe’s side seven points off the top-four already.
A victory on Wendesday night, which could still see Newcastle through to the Champions League knockout stages if results elsewhere go their way, could be the morale-booster they need at exactly the right time as they look to piece their season back together.
The injures are continuing to mount up, though. With Nick Pope definitely ruled out and Martin Dubravka a doubt, it looks like third-choice goalkeeper Loris Karius may have to be called upon between the sticks.
⭐ CHAMPIONS LEAGUE OUTRIGHT STARSPORTS.BET MARKETS ⭐
Newcastle United v AC Milan
UEFA Champions League Group Stage
20:00 TNT Sports 1
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SEP 2023 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AC Milan 0-0 Newcastle
AC Milan are also in with a shout of progressing through to the next stage. With both sides needing victory, it could set up an entertaining and open clash on Wednesday night.
Stefano Pioli’s side have had a solid start to the campaign in Serie A, sitting third in the league table, but find themselves nine points behind rivals Inter at the top; making a title push look difficult this season.
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Much like their opponents, AC Milan also have a difficult injury list to navigate with the absences of Marco Pellegrino and Simon Kjaer leaving former Chelsea player Fikayo Tomori as their only available centre-back.
They will be boosted by the return of Rafael Leao though, who is expected to be passed fit, and will certainly cause Newcastle problems if he is able to perform at his best.
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Despite their problems in the Premier League, Newcastle have always held their own so far in their Champions League campaign. With their passionate, noisy fanbase behind them at a packed St James’ Park, I fancy the Magpies to come through here. I am backing Newcastle to win to nil at 11/4 with starsports.bet.
Anthony Gordon has really kicked on this season and is in a good run of form. I also like the look of him scoring anytime at 13/8 with starsports.bet.
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