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AC Milan vs Newcastle prediction, odds, betting tips and best bets for Champions League ‘Group of Death’ match

The opening match of the 2023/24 Champions League group stage presents a mouth-watering matchup out of the ‘Group of Death’ as Newcastle visit AC Milan.

A match oozing with storylines is headlined by new beginnings. On the club level, Newcastle are back in the Champions League for the first time in 20 years, while on a personal level midfielder Sandro Tonali returns to the San Siro as a visiting player after spending three successful seasons with the Italian club.

It’s also the start of play in one of the most difficult and stacked Champions League groups in recent memory, as these two clubs are joined by French giants PSG and German side Borussia Dortmund in a wide-open sector which could realistically play out a number of different ways.

Getting off to a positive start to such a loaded group will be paramount, and points are at a premium throughout European competition, making this game of heightened importance.

AC Milan vs Newcastle odds

AC Milan are favourites at home, but only just, as the betting market has trouble parsing out the eventual result between these two teams.

There’s also questions whether this match will produce goals or not, and interestingly, the oddsmakers seem to slightly favour a higher-scoring affair.

Often, odds for these early Champions League matches are muted in terms of game flow, expecting teams to approach important European games in a conservative manner, but here it seems the lean is towards an exciting 90 minutes given the defensive struggles of both sides thus far in league play.

Milan
win
Draw Newcastle
win
Both teams
to score Y / N
Over / Under
2.5 goals
ACM
-0.5
NEW
+0.5
BetMGM
(USA)
+150 +240 +175 -160 / +110 -130 / -105 +138 -200

 

AC Milan vs Newcastle match facts

  • Date: Tuesday, September 20
  • Kickoff Time: 12:45 p.m. ET / 5:45 p.m. BST / 2:45 a.m. AEST (Wed, Sep. 21)
  • Location: San Siro (Milan, Italy)
  • Official: Jose Sanchez (SPA)
  • Last meeting: None (First meeting)
  • AC Milan vs Newcastle key stats

    • Sandro Tonali, now with Newcastle, logged more Champions League minutes than any other AC Milan outfield player last season.
    • AC Milan have won just one of their last 11 matches against English clubs in European competition, beating Tottenham 1-0 at home in last year’s Round of 16.
    • In last season’s Champions League, Rafael Leao collected more expected goals and expected assists following a take-on of any player in the competition.
    • Newcastle have been shown 17 yellow cards this season, joint-most in the Premier League and second-most of any club in the Big 5 European leagues — their 64 fouls conceded are also second-most in the Premier League. To go along with that, winger Anthony Gordon has been booked four times in five matches, leading the Premier League amongst individuals.

    AC Milan vs Newcastle team news

    American Christian Pulisic has been a consistent starter for AC Milan early in his Italian journey, but he was yanked before the hour mark in the weekend’s Milan derby, so it will be interesting to see if Stefano Pioli goes back to him on the right wing opposite the electric Rafael Leao. Absences for Milan include Pierre Kalulu and Ismael Bennacer who are both nearing a return from injury but not quite available just yet.

    For visiting Newcastle, there are just a few issues to worry about, the most important being in midfield as Joelinton picked up a knee injury on international duty and will miss the next month at least. Joe Willock had a setback in his return, suffering an Achilles problem while recovering from a hamstring injury, while Emil Krafth has been out with a knee issue.

    AC Milan vs Newcastle prediction

    • Moneyline lean: Draw (+240)
    • Score prediction: AC Milan 1-1 Newcastle

    Both these teams will put up a major fight in the push for a knockout stage spot amidst a wide-open group, and the value is on a draw to start ‘Group of Death’ play at the San Siro.

    Newcastle have suffered three defeats in their first five Premier League matches, but they been extremely unlucky at the back, with those three losses seeing their opponents far exceed their expected goals with brilliant finishing. Part of that has been Nick Pope’s struggles to start the year, but he was exceptional all last season so a return to the mean should be expected.

    A defensive battle is likely in this game as both sides hope to keep a lid on things to start group stage play, and a point will be valuable to both clubs early on.

    AC Milan vs Newcastle best bet

    • Pick: Under 2.5 goals
    • Odds: -105 (BetMGM)

    Goals are expected in this match given the defensive frailties of each team shown in spurts this young season, but that’s a red herring. As explained earlier, Newcastle’s defensive issues are overblown, and for Milan, the derby catastrophe over the weekend was also an anomaly, as they have been defensively stout until they were undone by a few penalties.

    Newcastle’s weakness this season has been their propensity for fouling, but with one of the most lenient Spanish referees at the helm, and Milan’s struggles from set pieces early on — just four shots worth 0.17 xG from set pieces through their first four Serie A games — that should be a non-factor here.

    AC Milan vs Newcastle prop bet

    • Pick: Olivier Giroud to score or assist a goal
    • Odds: +130 (FanDuel)

    Through four matches to begin the Serie A season, Olivier Giroud has been a critical component of the AC Milan attack. At 36 years old, the Frenchman remains a force up front, and can contribute in a host of different ways.

    Most notably, Giroud is the club’s penalty taker, and has collected three of his four goals this season from the spot. With Newcastle notably foul prone, he could be a real threat to score from the spot, and should still be considered even if the referee, as previously stated, lets them play.

    Additionally, however, Giroud can still provide during open play. While he’s not as much of a threat to score during regular action, he can still contribute, collecting two assists from 1.00 xA through the first four matches as he combines well with Rafael Leao and Christian Pulisic up front. He has chemistry with Pulisic from their Chelsea days.

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