Written By Onyeka Daniel

It hasn’t really been going smoothly for AC Milan this season, both in the League and in Europe with their latest defeat to Atalanta more less knocking them out of the Scudetto race while they are also face being knocked out of European competition entirely.

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As they prepare to play the final group stage game in the UCL, the Rossoneri have had some good news coming their way, first, with the return of Portuguese forward, Rafael Leao from injury. And then, Borussia Dortmund coach Edin Terzic had assured that the Bundesliga side have ‘all the motivation’ to beat PSG at home on Wednesday, offering Milan a chance to qualify for the Champions League Round of 16.

The Serie A giants must beat Newcastle at St. James’ Park on Wednesday, but in order to qualify for the Champions League Round of 16, they must hope Borussia Dortmund also win against PSG. “We play against PSG in front of a sold-out stadium. That is all the motivation we need to go for a win,” Terzic said at a pre-match press conference.


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“We know what qualities they have as a team but we have also seen their defensive issues in away games. If we are courageous and have a level of intensity in our game we can cause any opponent problems.” “They (PSG) know they need to win here to secure their place (in the next round) and they also know we want to win it.” Milan have only won one Champions League game this season, at home against PSG.

They have collected five points in five games, just like their next opponent, Newcastle. PSG currently sit second in Group F with seven points. Milan trained at Milanello this morning seeing Leao and Noah Okafor join their teammates. Both strikers are expected to be available against Newcastle on Wednesday.

Milan will fly out to England in the afternoon, while coach Stefano Pioli and American winger Christian Pulisic will address the media at a pre-match press conference. The return of Leao does not just give AC Milan their best forward back, but it will also benefit Christian Pulisic too.

Recently, I the American has played on the left as a replacement for the injured Leao in recent week, but now the Portuguese is ready to return to the starting line-up tomorrow evening against Newcastle the attack will change. Pulisic will once again be used on the right flank of the Milan attack as he was for the majority of the first part of the season.

And it is also the position from which he scored four of his five goals since arriving. Olivier Giroud will obviously complete the front three, which is probably Pioli’s first choice at the moment (even if Samuel Chukwueze did well against Dortmund in the last Champions League game) and the one with the most chemistry.


Real Betis are once again working out how to replace one of their regular starters, with left-back Juan Miranda set to leave in the January transfer window. The ex-Barcelona player looks to be joining Milan, with his contract up this summer. Barcelona will take 40% of the small fee Milan will pay, leaving little money in the coffers for Betis to find an alternative.

Brazilian youngster Abner Vinicius is slated to make the step up in Miranda’s absence, but Los Verdiblancos will need cover in the position, given their already light backline. Former left-back Alex Moreno is yet to get going, and with Monchi keen to take Marcos Acuna to Aston Villa, there had been speculation about a loan return.

Equally, Marc Cucurella is again looking at the exit door for minutes, as he struggles to find them at Chelsea. Yet reports say that neither of these deals are likely. Given the vast difference in wages between the Premier League and La Liga, even to loan one of them in for six months, Betis could require sales. A more likely recruit is Berkay Yilmaz of Freiburg.

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The 18-year-old left-back of Turkish heritage is on the radar of Eintracht Frankfurt and PSV Eindhoven, but Betis are hoping to battle out Besiktas and Fenerbahce for his signature. Yilmaz is still playing for Freiburg’s B side, but is highly rated both for his defensive abilities, and his habit for getting to the by-line.

His contract runs until 2025, but it looks as if he will leave either this January or in the summer. Betis will no doubt be hoping to convince Yilmaz with the promise of a jump into first-team football sooner than the other offers. It remains to be seen how much they have to spend this winter, given the exit of Luiz Felipe in September for in excess of €20m to Saudi Arabia.

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