Charlie Nicholas returns with his Premier League predictions ahead of a bumper midweek of the action
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Sheffield United vs Newcastle - Thursday, 7.30pm kick-off
Sheffield United are going great. They have 18 points and people are very surprised by the start they've made this season. They only have four wins in 14 games but have only lost three too. They do not lose away from home and they have picked up slightly at home.
Newcastle are a similar sort of side. They are very impressive away from home but lack a bit of the cutting edge. Steve Bruce has brought the passion back, and they are nicking points here and there. I think the Newcastle fans are accepting what Bruce can do with a fairly average bunch. He is doing a much better job than what Rafael Benitez did.
They may only be four points above Southampton but they are better than where they were last season. Newcastle are hard to break down and look to counter-attack.
These are the types of games which the Premier League throw up. There are only three points between them so it is not as clear cut as some people might think. It is incredibly tight at the bottom. It tells you how well some of bottom teams have done.
Bruce is clever, he is going back to Sheffield where he will get plenty of abuse but he will have his players pumped up. If their shape is good, the counter attack will be a strong weapon for them.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-1 (5/1 with Sky Bet)
Arsenal vs Brighton - Thursday, 8.15pm kick-off
What a glorious opportunity for Arsenal, this is the only way you can look at it.
They had a bit more spike about them at the weekend but Freddie, why are you picking Shkodran Mustafi? When are you going to learn about Calum Chambers? I also cannot understand how David Luiz is in the team. He just doesn't want to run. He is only interested when he gets the ball at his feet. Sokratis Papastathopoulos is a shocker and Mustafi is even worse. Granit Xhaka also cannot run.
It is such a huge mess. I honestly thought Freddie would not be close to getting the job, but now, I do not know how long he will have in charge. In the end, it may not be their number one target who they end up getting.
Regarding Freddie's selection, what have you done there that was different to Unai Emery? I didn't get it. It might be his first pick, but could also be who he has got fit. Bringing in Joe Willock I understood, but the re-introduction of Xhaka baffled me. Mesut Ozil wanted the ball and wanted to get into the pockets of space, he was decent again. There is an enthusiasm about Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Brighton played out from the back and played with confidence and insurance, but this is about Arsenal getting back on the winning trail and trying to threaten the top six, and potentially the top four. They need to ramp up the action. The manager has gone and they need results and a winning formula. It will be another tense night though at the Emirates.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 3-1 (11/1 with Sky Bet)
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