Michael Owen states his prediction for Napoli v Arsenal
Michael Owen looks ahead to Arsenal's clash with Napoli in the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday night
Michael Owen believes that Arsenal’s Europa League tie with Napoli could be forced to extra-time and penalties on Thursday night.
The Gunners head into the game fresh from their 1-0 win over Watford in the Premier League on Monday night as they moved back into the top four in the table.
The north London side were impressive 2-0 winners over Napoli in the first leg of their quarter-final clash at The Emirates last week.
Arsenal are looking to try and finish in the top four and win the Europa League this season in Unai Emery’s first campaign in charge of the north London side.
However, former Liverpool FC striker Owen feels that the Gunners could well struggle in the return leg of their quarter-final clash in Italy on Thursday night.
Writing in his column for BetVictor, Owen said: “After Arsenal’s first leg success at The Emirates last week Unai Emery has now won 25 Europa League knockout games – more than any other manager – but I feel they will struggle in Naples.
“When the sides met in the Champions League Group stages back in the 2013/14 season the home side won both legs 2-0 and it would not surprise me if we saw history repeating itself on Thursday.
“Arsenal continue to struggle on the road in the Premier League and they have already lost at both BATE and Rennes in the knockout stages of the competition so far this season.
“This is a tie that would not surprise me if it went all the way to extra-time and perhaps penalties.”
Arsenal will return to Premier League action on Sunday afternoon when they host Crystal Palace at The Emirates.
The north London side are aiming to try and finish in the top four this season after having missed out on Champions League qualification for the last two seasons running.
Arsenal finished in sixth place and without a trophy in Arsene Wenger’s final campaign in charge last term.