ENGLAND – Former Arsenal star, Charlie Nicholas, has predicted the scorelines of some today’s UEFA Europa League fixtures.
Arsenal will face German side, Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League at the Emirates Stadium following a 2-2 draw against Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.
Manchester United will take on Astana in an away Europa League fixture after playing a 3-3 draw with Sheffield United in the Premier League over the weekend.
Speaking with Sky Sports, Nicholas gave his predictions thus;
Astana vs Man United: “Everyone is talking about managers under pressure. On Saturday, when the football had finished, we said Marco Silva could be out and Manuel Pellegrini and Unai Emery could soon follow.
“A 10-minute performance has kept Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hanging by a thread. Can he get any consistency from the youngsters? What is his best partnership in defence? I don’t know. Phil Jones isn’t the answer.
“Harry Maguire has struggled and they do not look a team at the moment. Even with the energy at the moment, they missed presence of Scott McTominay. These grounds are awkward to get results from but this will be another one of those nights for Manchester United. I’m going 1-1.”
Arsenal vs Frankfurt: “I look at the schedule of what Emery normally does. Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka, Dani Ceballos and Joe Willock will play – I am not sure if Emile Smith Rowe will be fit.
“Arsenal are in a decent position in the group and will cement their place in the knockout stages, while easing off some of the pressure on Emery by the time this is done.
“I think the hardest part will be the crowd. I don’t think there will be one at all. It will only be if they want to see the younger guys.
“They don’t want to see the defence, and if they come for a moan, which is in their veins, this will be awkward for the players.
“The youngsters are trying their best, but who deserves to be in the side? He will rest Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and, dare I say, Mesut Ozil, and so Nicolas Pepe will probably play.
“Arsenal will win, but only by the enthusiasm of the youngsters. Martinelli has a great thing going for him so I think he will shine. As usual, there will be goals. Arsenal 3-2 Frankfurt.”