Newcastle vs AC Milan Prediction: Tough night in store for the Toon

 | December 12 | 

8 mins read

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It is crunch time in Champions League Group F as three teams go into the final round of games with an opportunity to join Borussia Dortmund in the knockout stage.

We concentrate on the Newcastle United vs AC Milan game here as Neil Monnery previews the action and picks out a couple of betting selections along with a Correct Score Prediction…

Newcastle vs AC Milan Betting Tips:

  • Back Draw/AC Milan in the Double Chance market @ 19/20
  • Back Bruno Guimaraes & Joelinton to be carded @ 11/1
  • Back Newcastle 2-3 AC Milan in the Correct Score market @ 33/1

When sitting in the Manchester office here at Betfred HQ, you often overhear colleagues discussing football. Unsurprisingly there are a lot of fans here and last week there was a conversation on the bank of desks behind me about Newcastle’s injury troubles and how they thought it was being overplayed as other teams have it just as bad.

I sat there shaking my head and after the late collapse at Goodison Park and the general failure at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, I’m not sure anybody could honestly say that Eddie Howe doesn’t have one of the toughest jobs in top-flight at this current juncture. His players are gassed and he’s struggling to find any fit bodies to turn to.

This obviously isn’t an excuse for poor recent performance but it does offer a genuine insight into the struggles up on Tyneside at the moment.

During the Spurs game on Sunday, Gary Neville basically said that if the club wanted to play in the top competitions, then they have to get used to playing three games a week. That is fair, they do, but also most squads have depth that can rotate. I’m not sure how many times in Gary’s career did Sir Alex Ferguson put out the same outfield ten for five games in a 15-day span. I doubt it would exactly have been a regular occurrence.

Still, they play once again on Wednesday night despite looking like they desperately need a break and their biggest game of the season is what awaits them. Not ideal.

On the other side of the coin we have an AC Milan side who were generally seen as the weakest in the group heading into the competition. Stefano Pioli’s men battered Newcastle in the opening round of fixtures but were unable to get past the superb Nick Pope, who is another player on the long list of injuries at St. James’ Park.

Milan sit third in Serie A, some way off the top two of city-rivals Inter and Juventus. On Saturday they fell to defeat at Atalanta and they haven’t won in any competition away from the San Siro in over two months. The last time they went on their travels and came away with the full haul of points was the late Christian Pulisic winner at Genoa back in early October.

Both sides will know that whatever the result in Germany, where they’ll both be looking for Borussia Dortmund to do them a favour by stopping PSG from winning. A win for Mbappe and Co will mean that neither side can make the Round of 16 but a spot in the Europa League would still be up for grabs.

AC Milan need to win to ensure they stay in European football whereas a draw for the home side will see them get that spot on Goal Difference as in that scenario, the teams will have played out two draws, so their h2h record will be identical.

So we head into what should be an absolute barnstormer up in the North East with both teams hoping that their European adventure doesn’t end. For one of them, it will be over by 10PM on Wednesday and for the other, a place in either the Champions League Round of 16 or the Europa League will await.

Team News:

Just seeing Callum Wilson and Sean Longstaff on the bench when the team sheets came out on Sunday would have given Geordie supporters a bit of a boost. Both came on with half an hour to go and the former certainly looked more lively than Alexander Isak. The Swede has not looked anywhere near his sparkling best since his return from injury, so there is every possibility that the England striker will get the nod up top.

17-year-old Lewis Miley has looked the part since being forced into the starting XI but this might be a good opportunity for the legs and experience of Sean Longstaff to return to the side. None of the other long-term absentees are expected to be available for this game.

The physio room over at the San Siro might not be as crowded as what Newcastle have been facing but isn’t exactly empty. When your only fit centre-back is Fikayo Tomori, you have issues. Theo Hernandez is expected to continue in the position in an emergency capacity.

Importantly, Rafael Leao is likely to be declared fit and after a trying week for Kieran Trippier, another tough night looks on the horizon.

Match Odds:

Having watched Newcastle in their past two games, seeing them as odds-on is a bit of a surprise but that is how the market sees it at the time of writing. You can back the home side to win the game in the Match Result market at 5/6. The draw is a 3/1 play with an AC Milan victory priced-up at 11/4.

Both Teams to Score and the Over 2.5 Goals market are both shorter than Even-money as the punters clearly expect goals to be flowing on Tyneside. You can back BTTS at 4/6 with the Over 2.5 coming in at 8/11.

Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson top the bill when it comes to anytime scorers, both available to back at 11/8. Olivier Giroud is the top choice for the visitors at 11/5.

Bet 1 - Draw/AC Milan on the Double Chance market @ 19/20

When I decided to assign myself this game, I went into it fully expecting to make this my top selection of the night.

This was even before the Everton game had taken place and obviously well ahead of the lacklustre display at Spurs. I just thought it was incredibly tough for the same players to keep putting in such a shift as we saw in the Chelsea, PSG and Manchester United games and a lack of energy would be noticeable.

The fact this game is taking place in front of one of (if not the) best atmospheres in the Premier League should not be overlooked. However, one thing we’ve noticed about Newcastle is their naivety at times against top competition in the Champions League and that concerns me just as much as their lack of energy.

Seeing Callum Wilson play well made me question this selection a bit. He offers a focal point for the Newcastle attack and with AC Milan’s issues at the back, having a centre forward who can cause physical issues in the box is going to be a big plus.

Having said all that though, I still think covering both the draw and away win at just a hair under Even-money is a good play. Champions League experience cannot be understated and I wonder if even Eddie Howe can get his men playing at their confident best.

If he had a full squad to call upon, I think the Toon roll but recent outings have been extremely concerning and the absence of Nick Pope cannot be understated.

Bet 2 - Bruno Guimaraes & Joelinton to be carded @ 11/1

Any even casual watcher of Newcastle United so far this season would have seen three players continuously fall foul of the referee. I’ve decided not to include Anthony Gordon but the two other Toon players who have seen plenty of yellow are paired up for an 11/1 double using the #PickYourPunt feature on the market page.

Bruno Guimaraes has already seen his name taken eight times this campaign for Newcastle with his Brazilian teammate faring little better with six bookings. You have to remember that the latter missed five games with a hamstring injury, so both players are getting carded at a rate of more than once every three games.

Both players play in the middle of the park and with the Newcastle high-press, have at times had to take a card for the team should an opponent manage to quickly get through with Toon players stuck up field. In addition, they have both been known to be a little bit hot-headed.

With Wednesday’s game expected to be a pressure cooker type of atmosphere, I could easily see both in the book. The 11/1 price for the card double has an implied odds of 8.3% and that feels very low to me.

Bet 3 - Newcastle United 2-3 AC Milan in the Correct Score market @ 33/1

I don’t often play the Correct Score market but I would not be shocked to see a high-scoring game and that creates an opportunity to get a big price playing for low stakes.

Both sides could get desperate late on, which could lead to goals. Having watched Martin Dubravka in his past two outings since taking over from Nick Pope, he doesn’t inspire much confidence. The backup keeper was at fault for two of the Spurs goals on Sunday and he’ll be under the spotlight. Both Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar looked hampered with injuries on Sunday as well, so who knows how healthy they are at the heart of the backline.

AC Milan have scored at least twice in six games away from the San Siro since August. With both teams knowing that defeat will spell the end of their European campaign for the 23/24 season, an early goal either way will really open this one up. A 2-3 away victory at 33/1 has implied odds of just 2.9% and I think its a better bet than the odds suggest.

You can read all of our Football Betting Tips on our main Football hub page...

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