Charlie Nicholas' European predictions: Wins for Arsenal and Chelsea

Charlie's Predictions
Image: Charlie's predictions for the midweek European clashes

Charlie Nicholas previews Chelsea and Arsenal's Europa League matches.

Here's how the former Arsenal and Scotland star sees those games going...

Thursday

Europa League

Arsenal vs Napoli (8pm)

Our home form is excellent, so I am pretty confident when we play at home. I have not been confident and never will be with this team defensively. They do not know how to defend.

Napoli are not brilliant. They had a draw at home at the weekend and are second in Serie A, but are not as strong as they used to be.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette react to a Man City goal
Image: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette could be key to Arsenal's tie with Napoli

Unai Emery - please just play Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. He said how they are a strong combination but he is not playing them together. I don't get the decision to play Mohamed Elneny and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Aubameyang, Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil must start together on Thursday, and if they do, Arsenal will win.

Also See:

Charlie predicts: 3-1 (16/1 with Sky Bet)

Slavia Prague vs Chelsea (8pm)

I think the manager is going after this and Maurizio Sarri may want to win something, especially if he goes at the end of the season.

I would play Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud. I would also play Callum Hudson-Odoi and those would be the three up front and I would tell them to go after it - I expect that to happen.

They are still not the best at the back but I expect them to win comfortably.

Charlie predicts: 1-3 (12/1 with Sky Bet)

Charlie's earlier predictions...

Tuesday

Champions League

Tottenham vs Manchester City

Man City are getting the job done. Tottenham have got the glamour of the new stadium and this should be a spectacular night. They are an attack-minded side. Do they have to win the football match? Probably not.

Man City have been resting and teasing teams at the moment, and there is an efficiency about them. They are going to squeeze Tottenham a bit. Tottenham could get caught up in the drama of the new stadium, but nothing changes for Man City.

It is how Tottenham use their aggressive nature of their pressing. They may try to force it so I think Manchester City will pick them off.

Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero will play, so do Tottenham go for a back three or back four? I think they will go to a back three. The form of Kevin De Bruyne gives City an edge at the moment.

Charlie predicts: 1-2 - RESULT: 1-0

Liverpool vs Porto

Liverpool are doing the business collectively. Everyone is saying this is a cracking draw for them. At Anfield they are creating a big noise at the moment and are getting results. I think this is another one of those nights and the Anfield crowd will spur them on.

Mohamed Salah got a much-needed goal on Friday, but he has not been playing that well. Any player in any position can be out of form and he started to rush things. He never went away Salah, he just had not been scoring. Roberto Firmino is returning to form too.

It will not be as easy as some people will think. I think a 2-0 result is a comfortable first-leg scoreline and will put them through in the end.

Charlie predicts: 2-0 - RESULT: 2-0

Wednesday

Manchester United vs Barcelona (8pm)

I have this game on Wednesday [on Soccer Special] which I am thrilled about. Man Utd are on the edge of nothing. There are question marks about whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the right man - he is now that he has got the contract.

Are they going to get rid of these players? There is a bit of a negative feel about the place again. Barcelona can go at them and Luke Shaw will have to get tight to Lionel Messi.

It is a big decision for Solskjaer as they like to attack. Luis Suarez will want to do well back at Old Trafford and Messi is the best ever in my opinion. Philippe Coutinho may be in, and then Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets are the feeders for Messi and Suarez.

Marcus Rashford is key for Man Utd with his pace and movement. Man Utd will be ready and if you give them too much respect they will beat you.

Charlie predicts: 1-2 (15/2 with Sky Bet)

Ajax vs Juventus (8pm)

I am not sure whether Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit, he was rested at the weekend. If he does not start, it is a big opportunity for Ajax.

Juventus are robust and like a physical contest whereas Ajax are creative and energetic. Dusan Tadic is the more experienced player in this team and he has been performing great.

Both teams will score and I think Ajax will edge it

Charlie predicts: 2-1 (11/1 with Sky Bet)

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