Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Arsenal v Man City

The former Arsenal midfielder is backing Arsene Wenger's men to beat Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday afternoon

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Photo: The Sport Review

Charlie Nicholas is backing Arsenal to beat Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.

The Gunners eased to a 2-1 win against relegation-threatened Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on Monday night thanks to goals from Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

Arsenal are in sixth place in the Premier League table and seven points behind Manchester City in the race to secure a place in next season’s Champions League competition.

The north London side lost 2-1 to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium before a 2-2 draw between the Premier League rivals at the Emirates Stadium in April.

Wenger is coming under pressure with his contract set to expire at the end of the 2016-17 season.

However, former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas is confident that the Gunners can spring a surprise against Pep Guardiola’s men at Wembley on Sunday.

“Arsenal had City by the throat and let them off the hook at the Emirates and, while they didn’t play that well at the Etihad, could have won it.

“Finally Wenger has decided he can change the shape of the team and while it wasn’t a great performance at Middlesbrough, they got the win and regained a bit of confidence.

“I think he’ll play a similar system and hopefully we’ll start to see a bit more fluency in their play, with Alexis Sanchez looking a bit more like himself. Olivier Giroud will be in the side, but only because the team isn’t performing and he’s got the chance to prove he’s worth his place on the big stage.

“His movement is poor but in certain games you need to hit him to relieve pressure and start the build-up, which suits Mesut Ozil more.

“I think the balance is better with him in the team for this sort of game, as when the defence might be under pressure you have to go back to front. I’m going for an all north-London final, with the big prize coming down to the perfect or worst possible ending for Arsene Wenger.”

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Arsenal won the FA Cup in 2014 and 2015 at Wembley to help end the north London club’s trophy drought.

The Gunners have won two of their last five Premier League games.

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