Nicholas expects Arsenal to lose tonight

Arsenal face a stern test in the Champions League this evening as they tackle Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, looking to end a disappointing run of six consecutive Round of 16 exits in Europe’s elite competition.

During recent years, Bayern Munich have handed Arsenal two of those premature exits but many feel that the Gunners can get one over their Bavarian counterparts this time around, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side not quite the team they once were.

That’s something that former Arsenal striker Charlie Nicholas has pinpointed, when making his match prediction for Sporting Lifebut he stills feels Bayern will emerge triumphant this evening.

‘Arsenal are obviously not firing on all cylinders heading into this game, but neither side are as good as they used to be. Bayern have have not clicked this season. Their star men have struggled to deliver to their usual high standards, although they obviously still possess a lot of quality.’

‘Arsenal are a better counter-attacking team these days so not having too much of the ball isn’t a major concern, but Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, as much as I think of them, just don’t deliver enough in the big games.’

‘Arsene Wenger will go with Alexis up front and I’d play Theo Walcott and leave Alex Iwobi out as I think Theo is more of a goal threat on the counter-attack. If they get this system right then I think Arsenal can walk away with a 1-1 draw, but I fear Laurent Koscielny will get exposed by Robert Lewandowski.’

In the end, Nicholas predicted a 2-1 defeat for his former employers but it’s a scoreline that would leave everything to play for in the second leg in three weeks time, as a 1-0 Arsenal victory at the Emirates Stadium would send the Gunners through.