Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Arsenal v Ostersunds
Charlie Nicholas looks ahead to Arsenal's Europa League clash with Ostersunds at The Emirates on Thursday night
Charlie Nicholas is tipping Arsenal to claim a comfortable 2-0 win over Ostersunds at The Emirates on Thursday night and book their place in the last 16 of the Europa League.
The Gunners are 3-0 up from the first leg in Sweden last week as they bid to progress as far as possible in Europe’s second tier club competition.
The north London side are currently in sixth place in the Premier League table and their chances of finishing in the top four this term are now looking slim.
So the Gunners are likely to take the Europa League very seriously for the rest of the season, because it represents a chance to qualify for the Champions League.
Arsenal are firmly in control of this tie thanks to their dominant win in Sweden last week, and former Gunners forward Nicholas feels that Arsene Wenger’s men will claim their place in the last 16 easily.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Nicholas said: “I think Arsene Wenger will have to play two or three regulars and then it will be the kids for a stroll in the park.
“He won’t want to play anyone who is going to play in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday but he might be forced to have a couple of bigger hitters on the bench.
“I like the look of the young lad Eddie Nketiah in the Carabao Cup but he hasn’t had a sniff in the Premier League because the first team go through hardships. It’s like the young lads gett punished for the senior players’ failures.
“I’d expect to see Danny Welbeck through the middle, Ainsley Maitland-Niles in his proper position and then Alex Iwobi maybe the only one who will threaten to start on Sunday. The kids will try to put on a show and they should have enough to win comfortably.”
Arsenal will then turn their attentions towards their crunch League Cup final showdown against Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.
The north London side will be hoping to reverse their fortunes this season and claim a trophy by beating the Citizens at the weekend.