Charlie Nicholas predicts Arsenal’s qualification to the Europa League round of 16.
Charlie Nicholas has predicted that Arsenal will survive their Europa League round of 32 return leg against Olympiacos and reach the next round of the competition.
The Gunners hold a slender 1-0 lead from the first leg after they beat the Greeks in Athens last Thursday.
Mikel Arteta’s men followed that up with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Everton at the weekend and they will host Olympiacos this Thursday.
Nicholas claims that it wouldn’t be an easy ride to victory for the Gunners, but he expects Mikel Arteta’s side to conquer whatever the Greeks throw at them and grind out a win. He went on to predict a 3-1 win for Arteta’s men.
‘I do not think this is a certain win for Arsenal,’ Nicholas told Sky Sports. ‘Mikel Arteta will sit and read into the fact that they let in two against Everton. Bernd Leno gets Arsenal out of a lot of holes but he did slip up for the second goal.
‘Joe Willock and Alexandre Lacazette will come in I think. You have to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in for his goals. Will Nicolas Pepe get another run? Probably. Does he deserve it? Probably not. I would probably look at Gabriel Martinelli. ‘The game against Manchester City has been postponed as they are in the Carabao Cup final, which means Arsenal can go at it and get into the last 16.
‘You can still see the mess at the back, but Arteta will change things again. Sokratis Papastathopoulos may come in, while Hector Bellerin may drop out. ‘You have to play Bukayo Saka at the back. This side has got its attacking side back and got its mojo back in that respect.’
Another win for Arteta’s side would make it four wins from the same number of games and that would be enormous for their confidence as they aim to finish the season as good as they can.
A win will be great to keep the momentum going. Expect Willock, Laca, Socrates, AMN, Martinez and Martinelli to be back. Up the Gunners!