Sky Sports pundit predicts Arsenal v Olympiakos

Charlie Nicholas looks ahead to Arsenal's home clash with Olympiakos on Thursday night

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

Charlie Nicholas is backing Arsenal to book their place in the Europa League last-16 by claiming a 3-1 win over Olympiakos in front of their home fans on Thursday night.

The Gunners head into the game fresh from their 3-2 win over Everton at the weekend in the Premier League as they sealed back to back wins in the top flight under Mikel Arteta for the first time.

Arsenal scored an important away goal in the Gunners’ 1-0 victory over Olympiakos in the first leg in Greece last week, and the north London side will now be aiming to secure their spot in the next round.

The north London side are currently in ninth place in the Premier League table as they chase Champions League qualification for next season.

Former Arsenal star Nicholas is not expecting the Gunners to have any problems when they host the Greek side at The Emirates this weekend.

Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Nicholas said: “I do not think this is a certain win for Arsenal. Mikel Arteta will sit and read into the fact that they let in two against Everton.

“Bernd Leno gets Arsenal out of a lot of holes but he did slip up for the second goal.

“Joe Willock and Alexandre Lacazette will come in I think. You have to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in for his goals. Will Nicolas Pepe get another run? Probably. Does he deserve it? Probably not. I would probably look at Gabriel Martinelli.

“The game against Manchester City has been postponed as they are in the Carabao Cup final, which means Arsenal can go at it and get into the last 16.

“You can still see the mess at the back, but Arteta will change things again. Sokratis Papastathopoulos may come in, while Hector Bellerin may drop out.

“You have to play Bukayo Saka at the back. This side has got its attacking side back and got its mojo back in that respect.”

Arsenal will return to FA Cup action on Monday night when they travel to Portsmouth for their fifth-round clash.

The Gunners will then face West Ham and Brighton in their next two Premier League games.

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