Sky Sports pundit states his prediction for Arsenal v Chelsea FC
Charlie Nicholas looks ahead to Arsenal's home clash with Chelsea FC on Sunday afternoon
Charlie Nicholas is backing Arsenal to claim a 3-2 win over Chelsea FC in Mikel Arteta’s first home game in charge at The Emirates on Sunday.
The Spanish head coach is preparing for his first game at The Emirates after having been appointed as the north London club’s new manager earlier this month.
Arteta oversaw a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth in his first Premier League game in charge on Boxing Day and the Gunners are now preparing to take on local rivals Chelsea FC in front of their home fans.
Chelsea FC head into the game looking to return to winning ways after the disappointment of their 2-0 loss to Southampton at home on Boxing Day.
Arsenal are currently eight points behind Chelsea FC heading into this weekend’s clash in north London.
And former Arsenal star Nicholas is backing the Gunners to edge to a narrow victory at The Emirates on Sunday afternoon.
Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Nicholas said: “Chelsea are still up and down, with significant class and real quality.
“I touched on it last week, but Willian has been class this season – he was left out and they lose at home to Southampton. They are in a better shape organisationally.
“The movement of Willian, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic will cause problems. They have nice pace and nice balance, while Jorginho and N’Golo Kante have been good when they have time on the ball.
“What changes do Chelsea have to make? They are very limited to the changes they can make – the three at back worked at Tottenham but did not work against Southampton. There are too many mistakes within the defence, but let’s switch it back to Arsenal.
“Granit Xhaka may be off, so he picked what he thought was the best balance in midfield. As much as I like what Matteo Guendouzi has, he has been poor and struggled at times, but he will come good and may come back into the fold at some point.
“You see that he had to play Bukayo Saka at left-back, but he has done very well considering he is an attacker.
“Alexandre Lacazette is back in the team, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is scoring, but Lacazette was sluggish – he needed that game.
“Mesut Ozil was subbed but was not finding the space, so you can see why. I enjoyed the desire and a bit of fight from the Arsenal team I saw at Bournemouth. This should lift the big players. He could make a few changes, but my heart is ruling my head here.”
After Sunday’s game, Arsenal will turn their attentions towards their home clash with Manchester United in the Premier League on New Year’s Day.
The Gunners will then host Leeds United in the third round of the FA Cup on 6 January at The Emirates.