Charlie Nicholas predicts Arsenal will draw the second-leg of their tie against CSKA Moscow on Thursday night, and Aaron Ramsey will add to his brace from last week.
Nicholas says the team selections from Arsene Wenger recently show where his priorities are. He thinks his former club will have enough to progress to the semi-finals, despite all the comeback scares in Europe this week.
“I was very surprised with the amount of changes he made at the weekend,” Nicholas told Sky Sports. “It obviously shows that Wenger is taking this seriously – not that he has much of an option with the top-four race done and dusted.
“I never trust this defence and have no idea who the best defensive partnership are. But Arsenal should have enough to get the job done.”
Nicholas predicted a 2-2 result in the end, with Ramsey to score. If Arsenal can pull that off they’ll easily make Friday’s draw. The former Gunner has named the team he thinks they need to avoid if they do.
“Hopefully they can avoid Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals,” he admitted. “Either way, they need to show character until the end of the season and build momentum because confidence isn’t a tap you can just turn on and off.”
It’s true that confidence isn’t always something you can rely on, but Arsenal should have plenty of it right now. The team are on the back of a run of six wins, including two against AC Milan and one against tonight’s opponents.
Alexandre Lacazette has three goals in three appearances since his return. Danny Welbeck scored two and assisted one at the weekend. Aaron Ramsey scored one of the goals of his career last Thursday.
If they all show up and Mesut Özil plays like he has all season, that should be enough to win. Let’s hope it is.