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Arsenal to get through Lisbon challenge unscathed

Arsenal to get through Lisbon challenge unscathed

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Arsenal Europa League prediction 

They’re [Arsenal] playing alright. I’m not getting too carried away. We had a good second half against Leicester but they were all over us in the first half. They’re winning the games they should win, but there’s a long way to go. It’s positive – everyone is going in the right direction. The crowd’s behind the side and there’s a good atmosphere at the Emirates again. They go to Palace this weekend – another game they should win, then it Liverpool and that’s the big test.

I’m going to the game on Thursday versus Sporting Lisbon. They should enjoy this one – it’s an attractive tie, plenty of fans will be making the trip. You expect them to get through this unscathed – even if they brought a point back to the Emirates, that’s a good result. Qualification is the main aim at this stage and they’ll have no problem in doing so. I’m expecting a few changes – Aaron Ramsey should start too.

I think the form they’re in at the moment, I’m going with an away win.

Back Arsenal to win 3-1 at 15/1 

Tuesday Champions League reaction 

I watched Juventus vs. Manchester United – Juventus are a good side. I think they’ll definitely make it through to the semis. They’re so good defensively. When the ball goes wide – they’re so tight-knit and tough to break down. United had a bit more of a go in the second half – but they lacked a bit of fire power. Lukaku isn’t firing on all cylinders. He doesn’t seem as mobile as he used to be. There may be a time where Mourinho tries something different and maybe put Rashford up there.

I’m sticking with City as my Champions League pick, however – they had a good win last night, scored some good goals and they’re looking dangerous.

Back Man City at 9/2 to win the Champions League

Back Juventus at 11/2 to win the Champions League 

Palace v Arsenal 

This is a tricky tie. The problem with Palace is that they haven’t got anyone to score them goals at the moment. Zaha is the only one who looks a threat. Midfield-wise, they’re sound. Kouyaté, McArthur and Milivojević are all good players but they’re not going to get you many goals. Then you’re relying on Townsend and Ayew, neither of whom will get you many either.

Arsenal will rest players on Thursday ahead of this one and hopefully they should get the result. I saw Palace vs. Southampton and the Saints rolled them over – Arsenal should do the same. It’s a game they need to be winning to stay in contention.

Back Aubameyang to score from outside the box at 15/1

Spurs v Man City

This is a big one. Massive game. Spurs are going about their business quietly but I think City will have too much for them. They’ll have had an extra day rest which will help and Spurs have a few injuries to deal with. I expect City to win this game. They have too much going forward.

Back City to win by two goals at 15/4 

Man Utd v Everton 

This is a tough one. United have only won one game at home since August 11. They could have even lost against Newcastle. Everton are coming off a good win although they left it late to get the three points on Sunday. I’ve got to go with United on this one – at some point they must click. They need to bounce back after the Juventus defeat.

Back Man Utd to win and BTTS at 41/20

Benitez future at Newcastle 

I feel for him – he’s not been given the money he desires to sign the players Benitez wants. The quality of the squad isn’t great – there’s not much depth there. The St James’ Park faithful are getting on their back. No-one is good enough to go down. They need to re-assess and even if that means going big in the January window, so be it.

They have to stick with Benitez – he won’t panic, but sooner or later he has to get results but I’m sure he can turn it around.

Back Newcastle at 12/1 to finish in the top 10 this season

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Ray Parlour Affectionately nicknamed ‘The Romford Pele’, Ray is one of football’s great characters. In a career which saw him make nearly 500 senior appearances, he won numerous honours including three Premier Leagues and three FA Cups, as well as representing his country 10 times. Part of Arsenal’s invincibles during a 12 year stay with the Gooners, Ray is now a regular on talkSPORT radio.