Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Bayern v Arsenal
Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Bayern Munich's clash with Arsenal in the Champions League on Wednesday night
Charlie Nicholas is expecting Bayern Munich to beat Arsenal 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash on Wednesday night.
The Gunners travel to the Allianz Arena looking to build on their 2-0 win over Hull in the Premier League last weekend as they bid to take a step closer towards reaching the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite club competition.
Arsenal are the underdogs to progress to the last eight and Arsene Wenger’s men have not reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the last six seasons.
And former Arsenal star Nicholas is expecting the German side to have too much for Wenger’s men in Germany on Wednesday night.
Nicholas told Sky Sports: “Arsenal are obviously not firing on all cylinders heading into this game, but neither side are as good as they used to be.
“Bayern have not clicked this season. Their star men have struggled to deliver to their usual high standards, although they obviously still posses a lot of quality.
“Arsenal are a better counter-attacking team these days so not having too much of the ball isn’t a major concern, but Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, as much as I think of them, just don’t deliver enough in the big games.
“Mohamed Elneny will come back in and unfortunately Francis Coquelin will be in there. I say unfortunately because even though he’s got that graft the team are lacking, he also has a red card in him. Then I’d like to see Granit Xhaka in there to make up three in that middle area to protect the defence.
“Arsene Wenger will go with Sanchez up front and I’d play Theo Walcott and leave Alex Iwobi out as I think Theo is more of a goal threat on the counter-attack.
“If they get this system right then I think Arsenal can walk away with a 1-1 draw, but I fear Laurent Koscielny will get exposed by Robert Lewandowski.”
Arsenal have fallen off the pace in the race for the Premier League title in recent weeks and currently trail leaders Chelsea by 10 points as they bid to build on their second-placed finish from last season.