Sports

Europa League: Charlie Nicholas predicts Partizan vs Man Utd, Arsenal vs Vitoria

ENGLAND – Charlie Nicholas has predicted his former club Arsenal, will maintain their unbeaten record in the Europa League, when they face Vitoria SC at the Emirates on Thursday night.

However, Nicholas believes Manchester United’s struggles will continue, on their trip to Partizan Belgrade on the same evening.

Arsenal have impressed in Europe this term, having won their first two fixtures without conceding a goal.

United, meanwhile, are in 14th place in the Premier League table.

On their trip to Serbia, Nicholas told UK Metro: “This is another difficult game for Manchester United. It was a Jose Mourinho-style performance against Liverpool.

“I can never remember Manchester United, even when I have seen them on the back foot and having poor times, seeing them knock 50-60 yards to get five or six seconds breathing space. United nearly won ugly.

“Anthony Martial is fit and I think he will start, while Marcus Rashford started, scored and played well against Liverpool. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will want to go to a back four, but their midfield cannot keep the ball. Scott McTominay and Fred are grafting but they cannot pass the ball.

“It is another awkward night for Manchester United, but 1-1 would be a decent result for them and that is saying something.”

On the Gunners’ game, he added: “It should be another night where Arsenal can make some changes. We need to see whether Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney will be back and I would hope that Emile Smith-Rowe could come in, as well as Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson.

“Will he throw Mesut Ozil into this situation? I think Unai Emery knows Ozil is not training hard enough, so that is why he is not putting him in the team. He is still there so I would play him.
“Alexandre Lacazette could make a return on Thursday and you could play Bukayo Saka down the middle and rest Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. If Rob Holding is fit, he should come in and play. It will be six or seven changes but I expect Arsenal to get the job done.”

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