AC Milan will get their 2023-24 European campaign underway this evening as they face Newcastle United in round one of the Champions League group stages.
After the 5-1 derby loss to Inter on Saturday, there is the need for an immediate response from the Rossoneri in order to not throw away the very positive signs from the first three rounds of the season.
You can read our pre-match preview here, while below are the best statistics ahead of the game at San Siro…
➤ This is the first ever competitive meeting between Milan and Newcastle – Milan have won just one of their last 11 matches against English sides (D2 L8), though that did come against Spurs in last season’s UEFA Champions League (1-0).
➤ Newcastle won their last European away game against Italian opposition, beating Palermo 1-0 in the 2006-07 UEFA Cup. They’d failed to win any of their first four visits to Italy before this (D2 L2).
➤ This will be Milan’s 20th UEFA Champions League campaign, the second most of any Italian side after Juventus (23). After seven season absence between 2014-15 and 2020-21, this is their third consecutive campaign in the competition.
➤ Semi-finalists last season, Milan have only been eliminated from the first round group stage in one of their last 14 UEFA Champions League campaigns (2021-22).
➤ This will be Newcastle’s third appearance in the UEFA Champions League, having previously played in the 1997-98 and 2002-03 campaigns. Their last match was 20 years and 184 days ago, with this the longest gap between games for an English side in the competition.
➤ In their last appearance in the UEFA Champions League (2002-03), Newcastle United became the first side to lose their opening three matches yet still progress to the next round. Atalanta in 2019-20 are the only side to have achieved this since.
➤ Milan have won their last two games in the group stage in the UEFA Champions League (4-0 v both Dinamo Zagreb and FC Red Bull Salzburg), and will be looking to win three in a row in the group stage for the first time since September 2006 under Carlo Ancelotti (3).
➤ Newcastle have a 56% win rate in UEFA Champions League home matches (W5 DO L4), compared to just 22% away from home (W2 D2 L5).
➤ Only Vinicius Júnior (47) made more successful take-ons in the UEFA Champions League than Rafael Leão (39) in 2022-23, while the Portuguese had both the most expected goals (1.2) and expected assists (1.2) following take-ons of any player in the competition last term.
➤ Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali played in all 12 of Milan’s games in the UEFA Champions League last season, with his total of 1,053 minutes played being not only the most of any Milan player, but the most of any outfielder overall in 2022-23.