Sky Sports pundit states his prediction for Arsenal v Newcastle
Charlie Nicholas looks ahead to Arsenal's home clash with Newcastle United on Sunday
Charlie Nicholas is backing Arsenal to return to winning ways in the Premier League by claiming a 3-1 home win over Newcastle United on Sunday.
The north London side head into the game after having drawn their last four games in the top flight to leave them off the pace in the race for Champions League qualification.
As things stand, Mikel Arteta’s side are down in 10th place in the table and 10 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea FC.
A win for Arsenal on Sunday would cut the gap to Chelsea FC down to seven points ahead of the Blues’ clash with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.
Former Arsenal star Nicholas is fully expecting to see Arsenal claim all three points when they host the Magpies this weekend.
Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Nicholas said: “It has been an intriguing break for Arsenal. For the first time, Mikel Arteta can go and properly work with the players for an extended period of time.
“He is still trying to get his point across but Arsenal are more together and more understanding of what is expected of them, in terms of the commitment and togetherness.
“It is not bang on though. They are becoming a side that is hard to beat but Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still do not have the balance right in terms of scoring goals. People will question about whether Aubameyang likes playing on left.
“Lacazette also has no confidence at the moment, but let’s hope it is more positive after the break. The unity and organisation at the back is still key, while we will have fresh players once more.
“Meanwhile, Newcastle have been very good away from home under Steve Bruce. He will go to frustrate Arsenal and will look to counter-attack with Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton, who has improved a lot.
“It will be a tough afternoon, but Arsenal seem to have some drive back. The negative could be waiting around for Aubameyang and Lacazette to kick back into form.
“Gabriel Martinelli has been in great form, but we need to start seeing more from Nicolas Pepe.
“The Gunners are not good enough to make the top four, but they must have a go at it. For that reason they will be firing and up for this game in order to come away with the three points.”
Arsenal are aiming to break back into the top four this season after having finished fifth and without a trophy last term under Unai Emery.
The Gunners will be in Europa League action on Thursday night when they travel to Greece to take on Olympiakos in the first leg of their last 32 clash.