Former Arsenal star Charlie Nicholas is tipping the Gunners to beat Manchester United in a crunch Premier League clash on Wednesday. Mikel Arteta’s side welcome United to the Emirates with both teams having had a poor first half of the season.
Arteta has only recently taken charge at Arsenal though showed encouraging signs during the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United appear to have turned somewhat of a corner having beaten Tottenham and Manchester City in recent weeks.
Though Nicholas is tipping his former side to edge a tight, but entertaining, encounter on January 1.
Predicting a 3-2 win for Arsenal, Nicholas wrote for Sky Sports: “I cannot give up on them, but Arsenal can’t buy a win at the moment, although it does seem more promising.
“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.”
United and Arsenal played out a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford earlier this season with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalising after Scott McTominay had put the Red Devils ahead.
Arsenal were 2-0 winners at the Emirates in the corresponding Premier League fixture in March.