Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Newcastle v Arsenal
Arsenal legend Charlie Nicholas is backing Unai Emery's side to make a winning start to the Premier League season on Sunday
Charlie Nicholas is backing Arsenal to make a positive start to the new Premier League season with a resounding 3-1 victory over Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Gunners were the busiest of the top-six clubs in the summer transfer window as Arsenal director of football Raul Sanllehi worked hard to improve Unai Emery’s squad.
Arsenal finished in fifth place in the Premier League table last season after finishing behind Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur in the pecking order despite having the league’s leading goal-scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The north London side started their summer spending with the initial signing of Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli to leave their supporters decidedly unenthused.
However, Arsenal signed Saint-Etienne centre-half William Saliba in a permanent deal and Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos on a season-long loan in the same day in July.
The Gunners – who also added Nicolas Pepe in a club-record deal – were active on deadline day after Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney and Chelsea FC defender David Luiz both completed their touted moves to Arsenal.
And former Gunners midfielder Nicholas is backing Emery’s side to make a winning start to the Premier League season against Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
“The Gunners surprised me with the signing of Nicolas Pepe, they will be very exciting going forward after that,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.
“I am glad that Laurent Koscielny has been shipped out, Carl Jenkinson has gone so the ones Arsenal don’t need are going.
“Is David Luiz better than what Arsenal have? Absolutely. On his day he is world-class. On another day he is an absolutely ridiculous defender. It suits Arsenal to a tee! He is better than what Arsenal have so if they do get him, then I see no problem with that.
“I am just looking for an improvement from Arsenal. They have to challenge for the top four after blowing it on a number of occasions last season. Arsenal are not going to challenge for the title. If Luiz comes in I will applaud it and I think they will finish third.
“Steve Bruce is just through the door at Newcastle. Jacob Murphy is going away from St James’ Park and they have made some interesting new signings. He is not Rafa Benitez and he will not play as cautious as him. I see both teams scoring, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette ushering in the new season with a goal apiece.”
Arsenal haven’t won the Premier League title since 2003-04 when Arsene Wenger led the north London side to their famous Invincibles season.