Charlie Nicholas names three Arsenal players set to leave and makes Manchester City prediction

Mikel Arteta faces his former club when Arsenal travel to Man City on Wednesday
Mikel Arteta faces his former club when Arsenal travel to Man City on Wednesday (Picture: Getty)

Charlie Nicholas has named three players set to leave Arsenal and revealed his prediction for the club’s Premier League clash against Manchester City.

The 2019-20 Premier League campaign will resume on Wednesday evening with Arsenal facing defending champions City and Aston Villa taking on Sheffield United.

Nicholas says it is virtually impossible to be ‘enthusiastic’ about Arsenal’s prospects going into the match and reckons Mikel Arteta will suffer defeat on his first return to the Etihad since leaving his job as Pep Guardiola’s assistant.

‘City will have a lot of the ball – I think Arsenal will sit and play one up front,’ Nicholas told Sky Sports. ‘As much as Arteta loves playing a 4-3-3, he will have to protect the weakness at the back.

‘The areas where Pep’s side will be overpowering will be in midfield and the wide areas. Whether Leroy Sane stays next year or not we do not know, but he will busting to get a start and get back playing.

‘You then have the likes of Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus – the choices are remarkable.

‘If Arsenal were to go with an attacking line-up, if it was a front three, it would become an isolated Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Eddie Nketiah. They will not get the service or chances.

Arteta spent a number of years as Pep Guardiola's Manchester City assistant
Arteta spent a number of years as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City assistant (Picture: Getty)

‘Sterling went through a poor spell before the break and drifted off, so he will be keen to get back into it. The standards he set meant he was not as good as what he has been.

‘There is too much pace, movement, control in City’s play, and in reality, Pep will have them fresh again. One thing we can expect is Kevin De Bruyne to be his same old brilliant self.

‘Man City have won one trophy, they have FA Cup to go for and the potential of the Champions League, so they have to be ready for that. City will get back in the groove, keep the ball and carve teams open.

‘I think Arsenal will have a half-decent run-in but this will be too much for them. City will take care of business. Man City 3-1 Arsenal.’

Nicholas also revealed he believes at least three Arsenal players are on their way out of the club.

Arteta is sweating over the future of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka but Nicholas believes three other players are set to leave.

Former Arsenal striker Charlie Nicholas
Former Arsenal striker Charlie Nicholas (Picture: Getty)

‘The break probably came at a decent time for Arsenal. They were improving under Mikel Arteta,’ Nicholas added.

‘Has he brought himself time like people have been saying? I don’t think so. All he has done has worked on a strategy a bit more.

‘The reality stares you straight in the face – Arsenal are ninth with 40 points. I look at the table and Arsenal have 13 draws in 28 games, yet they have only lost six all season.

‘I would like to be more enthusiastic, but I can’t.

‘You can work with Sokratis Papastathopoulos, David Luiz, and Shkodran Mustafi and get them to improve, but they will not improve by much.

‘Luiz will move on next season and Arteta will know that Sokratis and Mustafi are all seemingly pitching to be sold.’

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

MORE: Chris Sutton hits out at Arsenal over Aubameyang’s contract situation

MORE: Why Mikel Arteta was unhappy after Arsenal’s friendly defeat to Brentford

No comments