Nicholas tips one man to shine in Arsenal v Man Utd prediction

Charlie Nicholas thinks it could be Nicolas Pepe’s moment to shine for Arsenal as they take on Manchester United on New Year’s Day.

After the Gunners threw away a one goal lead to lose 2-1 against Chelsea over the weekend, they have now only won one match in their last 15 in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Man Utd have moved up to fifth in the Premier League – four points off fourth-placed Chelsea – but Nicholas thinks Arsenal will beat Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men tomorrow.

“I cannot give up on them, but Arsenal can’t buy a win at the moment, although it does seem more promising,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“There is more fight in there, no confidence, but there is a shape and a tendency to go and try to squeeze the ball. Chelsea are good at keeping it, but they have not quite got the balance of attack right.

“Mesut Ozil is playing better, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still scoring goals and Bukayo Saka has been class at left-back despite being an attacker.

“You cannot plan for the Bernd Leno howler, but the defence was better but still vulnerable, as were the midfield protectors.

“Man Utd are getting good results, while the counter-attack is so dangerous at the Emirates. I am going to stick with Arsenal, as they can get at the full-backs and defence.

“It seems more pleasant to watch but the table looks awful for Arsenal. They need a win and it is not about closing the gap to the top four as that is fantasy for them this year.

“Mikel Arteta started with a draw and a harsh defeat so it is time for them to get a win. Man Utd will be very dangerous on the counter-attack, but Reiss Nelson has been decent, and Arteta could give Nicolas Pepe a start.

“He may just be ready to come and do something. Arsenal 3-2 Manchester United.”


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