Charlie Nicholas backs Arsenal for Monaco win, but not qualification

The former Arsenal forward says his club can win in France, but qualifying is a step too far.

Former Arsenal forward Charlie Nicholas has backed his former side to beat Monaco, according to Sky Sports.

The Gunners go into Tuesday night’s second leg 3-1 down after a shocking performance at the Emirates all but sealed their exit from the Champions League.

No side has ever managed to qualify for the last eight of the competition from a position such as Arsenal’s and their former striker believes they will fall just short in their attempts to reach the next round, despite a victory in France.

“I’m backing them [Arsenal] to win but not to qualify,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“Monaco’s defence is pretty impressive and, while Arsenal can take hope from the chances they did create in the first leg, I fear they'll fall just short.”

Reasons to be positive

Despite thinking his side will suffer an early and unexpected from the Champions League, in a tie they would have been happy with when it came around, he does however believe there is reason to be positive.

The Gunners have been in good form of late, beating Manchester United to reach the semi final of the FA Cup while also being just a point behind second placed Manchester City in the league.

Manager Arsene Wenger is also boosted by the return of several key players returning from injury, which has created competitiveness around the squad, something else that pleases Nicholas.

“Arsenal have started to play a lot better,” he added.

“There was a positive response to the Tottenham loss and the same to losing to Monaco, which really was an embarrassing defeat. There are a lot of players back competing places and there's a lovely competitive edge around the squad.”

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