Sky Sports pundit states his prediction for Man United v Astana

Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas is backing Man United to beat Astana in the Europa League on Thursday night

Charlie Nicholas
Arsenal legend Charlie Nicholas (Photo: Sky Sports)

Charlie Nicholas is backing Manchester United to ease to a 2-0 victory over Astana in the Europa League at Old Trafford on Thursday night.

The Red Devils will return to Europa League action with a home clash against their first-ever Azerbaijani opponents at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side returned to winning ways in the Premier League at the weekend courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Leicester City.

Manchester United are currently in fourth place in the Premier League table but seven points adrift of leaders Liverpool FC.

The Red Devils can secure a return to the Champions League by winning the Europa League this season, just as Manchester United did under Jose Mourinho in 2016-17.

Former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas is backing the Red Devils to make a positive start to their Europa League campaign with a straightforward win over Astana.

“Astana will come and ‘park the bus’,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“Manchester United were not brilliant at the weekend, but it was a fabulous result – they nearly stumbled but they didn’t, and it is about getting yourselves the three points, in what was a dangerous game.

“It doesn’t make a difference that Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard were missing – they have not been setting the world on fire. It is not convincing with United but this is another game in which they will get over the line, in comfortable fashion.”

Manchester United haven’t won the Premier League title since 2013, when Sir Alex Ferguson steered the Red Devils to their 13th top-flight crown of his reign.

The Red Devils finished in sixth spot in the Premier League table last term following a disappointing end to the campaign.

Manchester United signed Swansea City winger Daniel James, Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Leicester City defender Harry Maguire in the summer.

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