Newcastle United Champions League injury boost with ‘ready’ tease as Milan trip delayed

A 7:30am flight from Manchester to Milan on Monday morning can mean only one thing - Newcastle United are back in the Champions League.

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It's been 20 long years since Newcastle last rubbed shoulders with Europe's elite, but Tuesday evening will see Eddie Howe's side take on the seven-time European champions AC Milan at the San Siro.

A certain generation of Magpies fana will be familiar with the iconic Italian stadium from the club's previous Champions League venture over 20 years ago. Back then it was Inter, now it's time for AC.

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Just a couple of years ago, this was the stuff of dreams for Newcastle - who often looked more likely to be facing a trip to Rotherham in the Championship than Milan in the Champions League.

But this new reality and new adventure for the club will be one to savour.

The journey to Milan

A late drive down to Manchester was on the cards for myself and my two National World colleagues on Sunday evening before an early morning flight to Milan Malpensa. A 35-minute train from the airport later and we’re in the centre of Milan.

Fortunately the planned public transport strikes had little impact on travelling around the city on Monday as a smattering of Newcastle fans gathered at the famous Piazza del Duomo to take in the sights of the Milan Cathedral and Vittorio Emanuele II gallery.

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Watch now on Shots!, Newcastle United’s Road to Europe - our latest exclusive video feature

The latter is where we enjoyed a quick lunch (pizza, of course) before getting ready to head to the San Siro for Eddie Howe’s pre-match press conference - but there would be a decent wait for The Magpies boss to arrive.

Newcastle United delay Milan trip

Eddie Howe’s side trained in Newcastle on Monday morning before a delayed flight out to Milan in the afternoon with the Magpies boss set to speak to the media from the San Siro alongside former Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali.

Tonali was an unused substitute as Newcastle beat Brentford 1-0 at St James’ Park on Saturday following a thigh injury picked up while on international duty.

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But as the club opted against training at the San Siro in preference for the more familiar Darsley Park surroundings, Tonali trained fully with The Magpies’ official Twitter account deeming the 23-year-old ‘ready’ to play at the San Siro once again.

Updates from Howe & Tonali’s press conference to come...