Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Arsenal vs BATE Borisov
The Arsenal legend is backing the Gunners to bounce back in style against BATE Borisov on Thursday night
Charlie Nicholas is backing Arsenal to ease to a 5-0 win against BATE Borisov in the Europa League on Thursday night.
The Gunners suffered a surprise 1-0 loss to the Belarusian side in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie last week.
Arsenal will be without Alexandre Lacazette after the France international was sent off in the final minutes in the opening fixture.
The north London side are involved in a tight race to finish in fourth spot and secure a return to the Champions League.
Unai Emery’s side can qualify for Europe’s premium competition by winning the Europa League in the Spaniard’s first season in charge.
The former PSG boss has won the Europe’s second tier cup on three occasions with Sevilla.
Ex-Arsenal midfielder Nicholas is backing the Gunners to beat BATE Borisov by five goals in the second leg of their last-32 tie at The Emirates on Thursday night.
“BATE were pretty rotten at home and Arsenal should have scored three or four, so I think Arsenal will beat them quite easily at home,” Nicholas told Sky Sports. “I can’t see anything too complicated here.
“I don’t think the Europa League is the priority for Arsenal this season, that still has to be finishing in the top four in the Premier League. Unai Emery has a reputation in the Europa League but I think they will get through this round, see where the draw takes them and then evaluate the situation. I think at the moment the Europa League is behind top four in terms of Arsenal’s priorities.”
The Gunners made light work of BATE in last season’s UEFA Europa League group stage after a 4-2 win in Belarus and a 6-0 victory at home.
Arsenal lost to Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals.
Arsenal haven’t won the Premier League title since 2003-04 during a barren spell in terms of league crowns under Emery’s predecessor Arsene Wenger.