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Newcastle vs AC Milan – Champions League: TV channel, team news, lineups and prediction

A battered and bruised Newcastle United host AC Milan on Wednesday night knowing that even a win might not be enough to see them into the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Back-to-back defeats to Borussia Dortmund crippled the Magpies’ European campaign, but they looked to have secured three crucial points in Paris which would’ve reinvigorated their qualification aspirations. However, a controversial late penalty scored by Kylian Mbappe puts Paris Saint-Germain in pole position to join Dortmund in the knockouts.

Both Milan and Newcastle now need PSG to drop points in Dortmund on Wednesday night while ensuring they prevail themselves. The Magpies could qualify if PSG draw but Milan will have everything crossed for a Dortmund triumph.

Here’s 90min’s preview of the Champions League clash at St James’ Park.

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UEFA Champions League 2023/24Borussia Dortmund v Newcastle United FC

Sean Longstaff returned from injury at the weekend / ANP/GettyImages

Eddie Howe welcomed Callum Wilson and Sean Longstaff back during Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, and the latter will almost certainly start on Wednesday. Alexander Isak will likely keep Wilson out of the side.

The hosts are unlikely to welcome back any other injured stars for this crucial fixture, although Sven Botman is closing in on a return.

Left-backs Dan Burn and Matt Targett remain on the sidelines together with goalkeeper Nick Pope. Harvey Barnes is unlikely to make his long-awaited return as soon as Wednesday, spending more time alongside long-term absentees Elliot Anderson and Jacob Murphy. Joe Willock, however, is on the cusp of his reemerging for Newcastle.

Newcastle predicted lineup vs Milan (4-3-3): Dubravka; Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Livramento; Guimaraes, Joelinton, Longstaff; Almiron, Isak, Gordon.

Rafael Leao

Rafael Leao should make Milan’s starting XI on Wednesday / Ivan Romano/GettyImages

Milan have also been hampered by injuries, especially at the back.

Malick Thiaw recently joined the list of absentees. The talented young centre-back isn’t expected to return until the new year with a hamstring problem. Pierre Kalulu and Simon Kjaer will also miss the trip to St James’ Park which means that the naturally rampaging left-back Theo Hernandez could start in the middle of defence again.

Fringe players Marco Pellegrino and Marco Sportiello will also miss out, but Rafael Leao should feature.

Milan predicted lineup vs Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Tomori, Hernandez, Florenzi; Bennacer, Loftus-Cheek; Chukwueze, Reijnders, Leao; Giroud.

St James’ Park will be rocking yet again, and while Milan will be without several key defenders, Stefano Pioli’s side are built to mitigate the Toon hostility. They proved during their Champions League run last season that they’re full of character.

The deployment of Theo at centre-back hinders their left-hand dynamic despite the expected return of Leao, but should they find themselves in the game after Newcastle’s inevitable early surge, Milan could walk away with something on Wednesday.

The Magpies will need to blow the visitors out of the water early on given the fatigue they’ve shown in recent outings. St James’ Park will undoubtedly give them life, but they may not have enough to advance to the round of 16.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 AC Milan


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