Charlie Nicholas states prediction for Barcelona v Arsenal
Charlie Nicholas looks ahead to Arsenal's Champions League trip to Barcelona on Wednesday night
Charlie Nicholas is backing Barcelona to heap further misery on Arsenal by dumping the Gunners out of the Champions League with a 3-0 victory at Camp Nou on Wednesday night.
The north London side have struggled to find consistent form in recent weeks and were dumped out of the FA Cup by Watford on Sunday afternoon.
Indeed, Arsene Wenger’s men have only won one of their last seven games in all competitions and the Gunners are currently third in the Premier League and 11 points behind leaders Leicester City.
Arsenal head into Wednesday’s game at Camp Nou looking to overturn their 2-0 first-leg deficit from the first clash at The Emirates last month.
However, former Arsenal man Nicholas feels that the Gunners are set to be thrashed by the Catalan side in Spain on Wednesday night.
Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Nicholas said: “Arsene Wenger is stuck between a rock and a hard place in terms of what strategy he goes for in the second leg.
“This has happened before when Arsenal have had virtually impossible second legs and you’d still think they’d be able to have a go and get something, but this isn’t the Arsenal team of previous seasons. It is more like one of the bottom teams in the Premier League taking on one of the top sides.
“I would play Danny Welbeck up front and Theo Walcott on the right in the very slim hope that they could expose the lack of pace that Barca have at the back, then leave Alexis Sanchez out, as he’s been a non-event since his return from injury – except for the goal against Tottenham – and then have Mesut Ozil on the left and flood the midfield.
“If Luis Enrique plays Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez then I can see all of them scoring and I’d chop your hand off for a 2-0 defeat. I fear the worst because this team is exposed and desperate. I’d love nothing more than being proved wrong but I just can’t see anything other than a heavy defeat.”
Arsenal travel to Everton in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime.