Champions League Opener: Milan – Newcastle

Milan – Newcastle Tuesday September 19 2023 18:45CET

The 2023-2024 Champions League kicks off with Milan hosting Newcastle. The match comes after yet another loss and rout versus Inter. Of course the mood and atmosphere has changed radically especially because Milan not only lost the derby but were humiliated by a four goal margin.

Pioli’s post derby words have added fuel to the disappointment and anger. He used his time with the press to insist an apology (to fans) is not necessary and claimed (pretended?) that Milan’s big advantage in possession was a positive to take away from the match.

A few changes are expected when Tonali’s – the ex-Milan player is reportedly recovered from injury and will start – Newcastle come to the San Siro. Tomori will return to the pitch after having missed the derby through suspension. The weekend’s disastrous defensive performance needs to be forgotten and perhaps Tomori, instead of the aging Kjaer, can provide a solid showing versus an English Premier League team. It is expected that Pulisic will make way for Chukwueze. Perhaps more controversially late word is that Pioli will drop Reijnders in favour of Pobega. While commenting on this match Pioli mentioned that Reijnders is not indispensable. It is certainly an odd statement to make about one of the best performers of this young season.

Newcastle sit in the middle of the EPL table after five matches. The visitors’ teams includes another name familiar to Milan fans in Sven Botman. The Dutch defender was on the verge of joining Milan during the 2022 summer transfer window.

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