Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Arsenal v Vorskla Poltava

The Arsenal legend believes the Gunners will edge to narrow win over Vorskla Poltava

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Arsenal manager Unai Emery Photo: Football.eu / Wikimedia

Charlie Nicholas is backing Arsenal to ease to a narrow win over Vorskla Poltava in their Europa League opener at The Emirates on Thursday night.

The Gunners will embark on their second successive season in Europe’s second tier competition in pursuit of a first continental trophy since 1994.

Arsenal have been in decent form over the past few weeks following three successive Premier League victories to hoist themselves up the table.

The north London side have picked up three points against West Ham United, Newcastle United and Cardiff City to move up to seventh place in the Premier League.

Vorskla Poltava will be facing English opposition for the first time in their history, while Arsenal have won four times, drawn four games and lost on four occasions against Ukrainian teams.

Former Arsenal playmaker Nicholas believes the Gunners will edge to a narrow win against Vorskla Poltava in their Europa League opener at The Emirates on Thursday night.

“I would expect Arsenal to be a bit like Chelsea; they will want to start the group well and with a win,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“I imagine there will be a lot of changes with the likes of Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan coming in, so it will still be a strong enough team for me to expect Arsenal to win this.

“The way Arsenal play they don’t do clean sheets, so I am going to go for a 2-1 win and Mkhitaryan to score first.

“When new teams come into the competition they get caught up in the emotions of it so I will also go with 60+ booking points.”

Arsenal appointed Unai Emery as Arsene Wenger’s replacement in the summer following a disappointing sixth-placed finish.

The Gunners reached the Europa League semi-finals last term before a 2-1 aggregate loss to Atletico Madrid.

The north London side signed seven players in the summer transfer window as Emery revamped the Gunners squad.

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