Former Arsenal forward Charlie Nicholas has given manager Arsene Wenger something to consider with regards to his team selection for Thursday night’s Europa League tie.
The Gunners’ overall team has been questioned due to their recent 1-0 defeat to arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur, but they are facing a crisis up front for this week’s last-32 first leg against Ostersund.
Alexandre Lacazette is facing the next six weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is cup-tied.
Danny Welbeck is likely to step up to the plate, and now Sky Sports pundit Nicholas has advised Wenger to use Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil as support behind the striker.
The Scotsman has slammed the club’s woeful performance against Spurs, and is keeping his fingers crossed that the team will not be embarrassed on Thursday night.
In a piece for Sky Sports, the 56-year-old predicted that Arsenal would earn a 3-0 advantage, but has advised the manager to leave two players in particular on the sidelines.
“This is a painful one for me because it looks an easy tie and even a big win does little to ease the absolute farce of Saturday’s derby defeat. There can be no excuses here. They’ve got a cup final 10 days afterwards and they could go here and get embarrassed if they don’t win. I’d actually play a front two with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil behind and accept that we’re not going to defend. There’s no point in playing Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka together, because they’ll never be able to tackle.”