Sky Sports pundit states his prediction for Olympiacos v Arsenal
Charlie Nicholas is backing Arsenal to beat Olympiacos but says they may not qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League
Charlie Nicholas is tipping Arsenal to claim victory at Olympiacos on Wednesday night – but is worried they may not book their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
The Gunners must be victorious in Athens by any scoreline other than 1-0 or 2-1 to qualify for the knockout phase of Europe’s elite club competition
Arsene Wenger’s men returned to winning ways in the Premier League on Saturday as they secured a 3-1 win over Sunderland at Emirates Stadium to move up to second place in the table.
Arsenal are without a number of key players due to injury, including the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla.
Former Arsenal man Nicholas is expecting the Gunners to be put through their paces by the Greek outfit and says they will face a tough task in claiming the necessary result to progress through to the last 16 and avoid being parachuted down into the Europa League.
Nicholas told Sky Sports: “Arsenal can do it, there’s no doubt about that, but I’m not totally convinced that they will because the injury situation is a dramatic one.
“For too many years now they’ve needed the big performances and they get them but somehow fall short. I mean, how can you beat Bayern Munich and still be in this situation?
“Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming back and Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud scoring goals gives me hope. I see Arsenal scoring their two goals but I have a horrible feeling that they’ll get into a good position and then concede and go out.
“I really hope that I’m wrong and that this is where Petr Cech, who has been brilliant, pays back his transfer fee and more.”
Arsenal return to Premier League action with a trip to Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.