By 90Min
February 21, 2019

Charlie Nicholas says he is backing Arsenal to overturn their shock 1-0 Europa League round of 32 first leg defeat to BATE Borisov on Thursday by beating the Belarus side 'easily' at the Emirates.

The Gunners were embarrassed as Stanislav Dragun's first half header handed the Belarusian side the advantage, despite the club having not played a match for over two months.

The lacklustre showing from Unai Emery's men heaped further pressure on the Spaniard, with the club struggling recently in the Premier League. Nonetheless, speaking to Sky Sports, Nicholas still thinks Arsenal have the necessary firepower to reach the last 16 on Thursday.

“BATE were pretty rotten at home and Arsenal should have scored three or four, so I think Arsenal will beat them quite easily at home. I can’t see anything too complicated here," the 57-year-old said.


With the Gunners currently fifth in the Premier League table, one point adrift of Manchester United, the Europa League could prove their best avenue back into the coveted Champions League.

SERGEI GAPON/GettyImages

However, Nicholas disputes this argument and believes the club should be focussed on a top four finish this campaign.

“I don’t think the Europa League is the priority for Arsenal this season, that still has to be finishing in the top four in the Premier League," he added.

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"Unai Emery has a reputation in the Europa League but I think they will get through this round, see where the draw takes them and then evaluate the situation. I think at the moment the Europa League is behind top four in terms of Arsenal’s priorities."

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