Arsenal face City clash as season kicks off again
Premier League will restart with Gunners featuring in midweek matches on June 17
29 May, 2020 — By Steve Barnett
ARSENAL will help restart the football season after it was announced last night (Thursday) the Premier League will kick off again on June 17.
The Gunners face a tough reintroduction as they take on Manchester City away in the midweek fixture, while Aston Villa will play Sheffield United on the same night.
A full round of league matches will then take place over the weekend commencing June 19.
Details surrounding where the remaining 92 fixtures will be played are still being finalised, but the early suggestions are that home and away matches will stay in place.
However, a few high-profile games could be held at neutral venues at the request of the police.
No matches have been held in the UK since early March due to the coronavirus outbreak. But players have already returned to training, and on Wednesday clubs upped the pace when they unanimously voted to resume contact training.
Meanwhile, Bukayo Saka has dropped a subtle hint that he is finally ready to put pen-to-paper on a new contract with Arsenal.
Despite playing out of position at left-back, the teenage winger emerged as arguably the Gunners’ most promising young player in his breakthrough season. Saka’s current deal expires next summer, and there were reports that the club were struggling to tie him down to fresh terms.
But fans of the 18-year-old got a little reassurance on Monday, when Saka posted a picture of himself on Instagram in an Arsenal kit from his time in the youth ranks, alongside the caption: “Kid with a dream.”
His comments section was quickly inundated by Gooners urging him to sign a new deal, with former teammate Charlie Gilmour also saying: “Sign da ting fam!”
A trio of defenders could, however, be heading towards the Emirates exit, according to reports.
Manager Mikel Arteta is ready to offload Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi as he continues to mould the squad into one more suited to his style of football. And Rob Holding could also be surplus to requirements, with Arteta set to build the defence around William Saliba, David Luiz and Pablo Mari.
Arsenal confirmed this week that ticket holders will be entitled to a refund for the last 10 matches of the campaign.
With the Premier League set to return next month, the club acknowledged it is “inevitable” that the season will be concluded behind closed doors without fans.