AC Milan vs Newcastle Odds, Picks, Predictions | Champions League Preview

AC Milan vs Newcastle Odds, Picks, Predictions | Champions League Preview article feature image

Stu Forster/Getty. Pictured: Eddie Howe.

AC Milan vs Newcastle Odds

Tuesday, Sept. 18
12:45 p.m. ET
AC Milan Odds+170
Newcastle Odds+175
Over / Under
 +118 / -144
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Newcastle United and AC Milan will kick off their 2023-24 Champions League campaign when they take the field against each other on Tuesday afternoon.

Rossoneri made it to the UCL semifinals last tournament before being knocked out by their intra-city rival Inter Milan, extending their drought without the prominent trophy to 15 years. They last raised it in the 2006-07 season.

Meanwhile, despite it being quite some time since Milan have reached the mountaintop, this is new territory for their opponent. This is the first Champions League game for the Magpies since 2003 and it's just the fourth time they have ever qualified for the tournament.

Will the 20-time qualifiers Milan take care of business on the road against Newcastle in just their fourth time being on the big stage and first time in 20 years? Or will Eddie Howe and his men show they belong with the best of the best?

Here is my breakdown of the AC Milan vs Newcastle odds, and my pick for their Champions League match on Tuesday.

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AC Milan

AC Milan are heading into Tuesday's match with a bit of a sour taste in their mouth as they were completely humiliated by Inter Milan in their last outing, suffering a 5-1 defeat.

However, outside of that recent loss, Milan are heading into Champions League play as one of the more in-form teams. Saturday was their first defeat of the new term, and given they were the away side against Inter, they welcome Newcastle having lost just one of their last 13 home matches at the San Siro.

Milan will also have Fikayo Tomori back at center defense for the Tuesday clash, as he was absent through suspension following his red card in the 2-1 win at Roma during the 5-1 beatdown. During Rossoneri's first three league games with Tomori leading the back line, manager Stefano Pioli's team has allowed just 0.73 xGA per 90 minutes. Last season, during their UCL semifinal run, they averaged 1.22 xGA.

And while Tomori being back in the lineup should significantly improve Milan's defense, offense is the true strength of this team. They are averaging 2.25 goals a game this season, and Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud are an attacking duo that defenders are yet to figure out how to stop.

Giroud was in the top five for goals and Leao was in the top five for assists in last year's Champions League campaign. They are entering Tuesday in even better form. In just their four league games this season, they have already combined for 10 goal contributions.

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Newcastle are heading into Tuesday on a positive note. They broke their three-game skid with a 1-0 win against Brentford this past weekend. And while it is never good to lose three games in a row, a caveat can be made as the losses came to Manchester City, Liverpool and Brighton. All three are in the top five of the Premier League standings.

However, Facing AC Milan on the road is certainly not a drop-off, so manager Eddie Howe will need to sort out his defense if they are to keep the Rossoneri out of the net. The Magpies have conceded seven goals in their five league games, and their only clean sheet came on Sunday vs. Brentford.

Even though their defense is struggling, the strength of this Newcastle team is perceived to be their offense. They finished fourth in xG in the Premier League last season, but outside for their 5-1 win over Aston Villa in their league opener they have scored just three goals in four games.

Despite their recent stretch, though, with players like Alexander Isak, Calum Wilson and Miguel Almiron leading the front line, this team is more than talented enough to get back to their high-scoring ways against anyone.

They will also have midfielder Sandro Tonali returning to the starting XI. Tonali was one of the most important players for AC Milan during their UCL run last year and could give his new coaching staff and players tips on how to take down the Italian powerhouse.

AC Milan vs Newcastle

Pick & Prediction

This matchup is the start of Group F, considered the "Group of Death," with PSG and Dortmund as the other teams, so getting off to a strong start is vital.

That being the case, both these teams will be eager. And they are capable of putting up goals if the opposing defense has any lapses.

However, with the backing of their home fans and a manager who can employ tactics where the team is just as comfortable being on the front foot in possession as they are sitting back and defending, AC Milan should be able to frustrate a Newcastle team with limited UCL experience.

Chalk up the 5-1 embarrassment to Inter as a bad day, as this team's semifinal run was no fluke. Even if the Magpies find their scoring boots, Rossoneri have the talent to keep up.

Rather than taking Milan on the moneyline with plus money straight, I am going slightly conservative and with the draw no bet pick.

The Pick: AC Milan – Draw No Bet (-110 BetRivers)

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