Milan make three changes following their 5-1 Serie A stuffing by Internazionale. Samu Chukwueze, Fikayo Tomori and Tommaso Pobega replace Tijjani Reijnders, Simon Kjær and Christian Pulišić, who all drop to the bench.
Newcastle also make three changes to their starting line-up, following their 1-0 win over Brentford. Sandro Tonali, Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak step up, while Callum Wilson, Elliot Anderson and Harvey Barnes sit out. Tonali achieves what we are contractually obliged to describe as “a dream return to his former club”.
AC Milan: Maignan, Calabria, Thiaw, Tomori, Hernandez, Loftus-Cheek, Krunic, Pobega, Chukwueze, Giroud, Leao.
Substitutes: Adli, Pulisic, Reijnders, Jovic, Okafor, Kjaer, Florenzi, Sportiello, Musah, Mirante, Bartesaghi.
Newcastle United: Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, Tonali, Murphy, Isak, Gordon.
Substitutes: Dummett, Lascelles, Wilson, Targett, Barnes, Karius, Hall, Livramento, Almiron, Anderson, Miley, Harris.
Arbitrator: José María Sánchez (Spain).
Newcastle United immediately launched into European football. Qualified for the 1968-69 edition of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup by finishing tenth in the old First Division (don’t ask), they rose to the occasion brilliantly, beating Feyenoord, Sporting Lisbon, Real Zaragoza, Vitoria from Setubal, Rangers. and Ujpest will win the continental silverware at the first ask. Not bad, especially since Feyenoord would go on to win the European Cup the following season. Hats off to Bobby Moncur, Frank Clark, Pop Robson and others!
Today’s guys might as well hit the ground. This is Newcastle’s first trip to the Champions League for 20 years, and they are in a group with French champions Paris Saint-Germain, Bundesliga bridesmaids Borussia Dortmund and last year’s semi-finalists, seven-time winners Milan. First stop, the San Siro. It doesn’t matter, then. “It’s a football game and I think that’s the way we have to approach it,” said Eddie Howe, who will no doubt guide his players towards Milan’s 5-1 capitulation this weekend to its main rival, Inter, rather than towards their rival. 4-1 victory over Torino in their only match so far at San Siro this season. Which Milan will be present? The Toon hopes it’s the former, and we’ll start finding out at 5:45 p.m. BST. It’s on!