Sky Sports pundit gives his prediction for Arsenal v Napoli
Charlie Nicholas looks ahead to Arsenal's Europa League clash with Napoli on Thursday night
Charlie Nicholas is tipping Arsenal to claim a 3-1 win over Napoli in the Europa League on Thursday night.
The Gunners are preparing to welcome the Serie A side to The Emirates as they look to secure a result to take a step closer to the semi-finals of Europe’s second tier club competition.
Arsenal suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss to Everton in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon to hamper their hopes of finishing in the top four this season.
Indeed, Unai Emery’s men are now outside of the Champions League qualification spots and are fifth in the Premier League table with six games left to play.
However, former Arsenal star Nicholas is confident that the Gunners will have what it takes to beat Napoli in front of their home fans at The Emirates on Thursday night.
Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Nicholas said: “Our home form is excellent, so I am pretty confident when we play at home. I have not been confident and never will be with this team defensively. They do not know how to defend.
“Napoli are not brilliant. They had a draw at home at the weekend and are second in Serie A, but are not as strong as they used to be.
“Unai Emery – please just play Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. He said how they are a strong combination but he is not playing them together. I don’t get the decision to play Mohamed Elneny and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
“Aubameyang, Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil must start together on Thursday, and if they do, Arsenal will win.”
Arsenal will return to Premier League action on Monday night when they take on Watford at Vicarage Road.
The Gunners are aiming to finish in the top four and qualify for next season’s Champions League, after having missed out on a top-four finish in both of Arsene Wenger’s final campaigns in charge.
Arsenal finished sixth and without a trophy under Wenger last season.