Manchester United welcome Nicholas’ former club Arsenal up north in the clear game of the weekend – a match Nicholas believes will be decided by the Gunners’ dangerous attacking trio.
‘Man United will try to dominate the midfield with aggression, with Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘[Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and [Nicolas] Pepe had chances against Liverpool at Anfield and if they get these chances against Man United I think they will take them.
‘It will make life easier for Arsenal’s defence with Man United’s depleted frontline.’
Liverpool travel to newly-promoted Sheffield United in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off and Nicholas believes the table toppers will continue their charge towards a first Premier League title.
Charlie Nicholas’ Premier League predictions
Sheffield United 1-3 Liverpool
Crystal Palace 1-0 Norwich
Aston Villa 1-1 Burnley
Chelsea 3-1 Brighton
Bournemouth 2-2 West Ham
Spurs 2-0 Southampton
Wolves 1-0 Watford
Everton 1-3 Man City
Leicester 2-0 Newcastle
Man Utd 1-2 Arsenal
‘Sheffield United will be in their face and try to pin them back, but they need to worry about Roberto Firmino, and then the pace and skill of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah,’ he added. ‘Liverpool will gradually grind the game down.’
He believes Chelsea will beat Brighton 3-1, with striker Tammy Abraham’s pace a crucial factor, while Spurs will get a much-needed win against Southampton despite Mauricio Pochettino’s recent struggles.
‘There are lots of negatives around Tottenham but they will win here,’ he said of the 3pm Saturday kick-off. ‘I never thought they would be around Manchester City or Liverpool but I expect them to fight for the top four.’
Manchester City are expected to be Liverpool’s closest rivals for the title and Nicholas expects them to keep the heat up on Jurgen Klopp’s men by beating their struggling Merseyside rivals Everton at Goodison Park.
‘City will keep the ball and pick Everton off when they attack,’ Nicholas said. ‘Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are all scoring. They recovered pretty well from embarrassment at Norwich.’