Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Chelsea FC v Malmo

The Arsenal legend is backing Chelsea FC to comfortably beat Malmo in the Europa League on Thursday night

Maurizio Sarri
Chelsea FC manager Maurizio Sarri (Photo: The Sport Review)

Charlie Nicholas is tipping Chelsea FC to ease to a 3-0 win over Malmo in their Europa League clash on Thursday night.

The Blues will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing result in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge earlier this week.

Goals from Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba sealed a 2-0 win for Manchester United to end Chelsea FC’s hopes of winning the competition in successive seasons in the fifth round.

Chelsea FC have been on a miserable run of form in domestic competitions after a 6-0 loss to Manchester City in their last Premier League outing.

The west London side are languishing in sixth spot in the Premier League table and a point behind fourth-placed Manchester United.

However, Maurizio Sarri’s side were 2-1 winners against Swedish side Malmo in the first leg last week.

Former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas is backing Chelsea FC to ease to a 3-0 win over Malmo in the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday night.

“Who are Chelsea going to play considering they have the Carabao Cup final on Sunday?” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“It’s a must-win game for Chelsea to build some confidence ahead of the final. I imagine Maurizio Sarri will give some players a chance like Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Olivier Giroud, but for Sarri at the moment it’s just about survival, getting to the weekend and then seeing where it takes him.”

Nicholas added: “Sarri has been around and knows his time is probably up, so he will pick a team that will get them through this game, which I don’t think will be overly difficult, but then he has to have a thought process that says ‘I have never won anything other than a promotion, so I could actually get sacked by Chelsea and still win the Carabao Cup’. That’s what he has to think. Everything is about Sunday.

“Even if Zinedine Zidane was interested I don’t think he will touch this club until they are out of most competitions, that’s the only time he will want to start, and whoever suggested that Arsene Wenger would be a good manager for Chelsea needs a good turning of their ponytail!”

This is Chelsea’s second appearance in the Europa League knockout phase, their first, in 2012/13, saw Rafael Benitez’s men win the competition outright.

The Blues were 1-0 winners against Benfica in the Europa League final in Amsterdam.

Chelsea are now ten games unbeaten in the Europa League, stretching back to their success in 2013.

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