Sky Sports pundit states his prediction for Olympiakos v Arsenal

Charlie Nicholas is backing Arsenal to draw with Olympiakos in Greece on Thursday night

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta (Photo: YouTube)

Charlie Nicholas is tipping Arsenal to secure a 1-1 draw at Olympiakos in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday night.

The Gunners will make the trip to Greece fresh from a resounding 4-0 victory over Newcastle United at The Emirates on Sunday evening.

Goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe sealed Arsenal’s second Premier League win under Mikel Arteta.

The Spanish head coach has found victories hard to come by in his Arsenal reign so far, but Arteta has made the Gunners a more resilient outfit.

Arsenal booked their place in the Europa League knockout stage after topping Group F thanks to a late comeback against Standard Liege in their final group-stage fixture.

The north London side have beaten Ostersund and BATE Borisov in their last two Europa League round of 32 ties in the last two seasons.

Former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas is backing the Gunners to earn a draw at Olympiakos in the first leg of their last-32 tie on Thursday night.

“I am not getting carried away after the weekend win over Newcastle. You can genuinely feel, even with Mikel Arteta’s second win, that they are becoming dogged and a better all-round side,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“He is prepared to look at other players. If a team were to benefit from the winter break, it would have been Arsenal; they needed it. The draws were becoming a concern, as was the league position.

“The fans have liked what they have seen, and quite like the unity, but that is something they have been disguising for a while. He has told them a few home truths, some have accepted more than others, like Mesut Ozil, who seems to be on the up again.

“Some young players are playing well. It was harsh on Gabriel Martinelli to miss out, and Mateo Guendouzi has done well, but he is not moving on at the minute; he has upset Arteta, who wants him fit; he will not be there until he sorts himself out.

“Olympiakos won well at the weekend so we could be in for a good game. It is more promising for Arsenal that is for sure, but the clean sheets won’t keep coming, I don’t think.”

Arsenal will host their Greek opponents at The Emirates on Thursday 27 February in the return leg.

The Gunners will take on Everton in the Premier League at The Emirates on Sunday before the second leg.

MORE: Latest Arsenal news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

Ian Wright
‘Gutted’: Ian Wright sends message to Arsenal fans about Mesut Ozil
Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes rates Edinson Cavani’s impact in Man United training
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirms injury blow ahead of Man United v Chelsea FC
Ander Herrera
‘They did good’: Ander Herrera reacts to Man United’s win over PSG
Owen Hargreaves
‘I love him’: Owen Hargreaves raves about Man United defender
Jadon Sancho
Borussia Dortmund chief sends message to Man United about Jadon Sancho
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Owen Hargreaves
Owen Hargreaves reacts to Thomas Partey’s display in Arsenal’s 2-1 win at Rapid Vienna
Michael Owen
Michael Owen claims Chelsea FC star created ‘fear’ with his display
Man United legend Ryan Giggs
‘We’ll score goals’: Ryan Giggs looks ahead to Man United v Chelsea FC