Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Ostersunds v Arsenal
Charlie Nicholas is backing Alexandre Lacazette to fire Arsenal to a 3-0 win at Ostersunds on Thursday
Charlie Nicholas is backing Alexandre Lacazette to fire Arsenal to a 3-0 victory over Alexandre Lacazette in the first leg of their Europa League clash with Ostersunds on Thursday night.
The Gunners head into the first leg of the last 32 clash looking to try and get back to winning ways after having lost the north London derby 1-0 to Tottenham at Wembley in the Premier League on Saturday.
That defeat has seriously dented Arsenal’s hopes of finishing in the top four this season and it would now seem as if winning the Europa League is their most realistic hope of securing Champions League qualification.
The Gunners are preparing to take on Swedish side Ostersunds on Thursday night as they look to try and progress through to the last 32 of Europe’s second tier club competition.
And former Arsenal star Nicholas is tipping the Gunners to take a 3-0 advantage back to The Emirates by claiming a comfortable win on Thursday night.
Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Nicholas said: “They’ve got a cup final 10 days afterwards and they could go here and get embarrassed if they don’t win. I see Arsenal are only odds of 1/2 to win this and they should be 1/5 for this sort of game against such an unknown entity.
“They should get this tie done this Thursday with a strong side, play two up top with Alexandre Lacazette back in there to make up for his misses at the weekend, especially with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ineligible.
“I can’t remember when we last had a leading scorer on nine goals in February.
“I’d actually play a front two with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil behind and accept that we’re not going to defend. There’s no point in playing Mohamed Elneny and Grant Xhaka together because they’ll never be able tackle.
“I’m going for Arsenal to win by three goals and if they don’t win by that margin it will be a disappointment as the second leg comes right before the Carabao Cup final.”
Arsenal are currently in sixth place in the Premier League table as they try and break back into the top four this season.
The north London side finished fifth and won the FA Cup last term.