Charlie Nicholas’ Europa League predictions: Big wins for Arsenal and Chelsea
Vorskla Poltava vs Arsenal, Rosenborg vs Celtic, Chelsea vs PAOK Salonika and Rangers vs Villarreal all take place on Thursday
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Who is Soccer Saturday pundit Charlie Nicholas tipping in the latest round of Europa League group-stage fixtures?
Four British teams are in action on Thursday, with Arsenal travelling to Vorskla Poltava and Chelsea hosting PAOK Salonika. Steven Gerrard’s Rangers are also in action as they host Villarreal, while Celtic travel to Rosenborg.
Former Arsenal and Celtic striker Charlie Nicholas gives his predictions for all four fixtures…
Vorskla Poltava vs Arsenal (5.55pm)
The job’s already done really for Arsenal. After meeting the manager last week I could tell there was some fire in his belly and he obviously loves this competition, having won it so many times.
He’ll make changes but look at the changes he can make, he can bring in Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey and he’s got lots of choices, but whatever team he puts out will be too strong. Their soft centre has gone and they’re a lot tougher now, so they’ll be too strong.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 0-4
Rosenborg vs Celtic (5.55pm)
It’s a must-win for Celtic, but they’ve picked up a bit lately, they’re playing well and scoring goals. Their away record is awful but they can have a real go in this one and I think they can do it and win this game.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-2
Chelsea vs PAOK Salonika (8pm)
It’s another one of these comfortable nights in the Europa League where Sarri can make a number of changes and still expect to win quite handily. I think he’ll play Olivier Giroud but rest Willian and Eden Hazard, but it’s still looking like another comfortable night.
There could be an exhibition feel to this one.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 3-0
Rangers vs Villarreal (8pm)
Their first meeting was a real eye opener for Rangers as it proved to the players that they could play in this competition and match the teams in it. Steven Gerrard is searching for his team to set certain standards and they’ve achieved them at certain points, they just need more consistency.
But I expect a good week for both Scottish sides and this should be a huge confidence booster for them to win at home.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-1