Sky Sports will show 64 live Premier League games when season resumes; 25 matches available on both Sky Sports Premier League and Sky's free-to-air Pick channel
Friday 3 July 2020 18:34, UK
The Premier League is back - but what shape are Arsenal in for the season restart?
Ahead of the Premier League's return on June 17, we run the rule over Mikel Arteta's side, from fixtures and fitness to the manager's view and more...
Sky Sports' Oliver Yew:
When Mikel Arteta walked through the doors of the Emirates Stadium back in December to replace Unai Emery, there was plenty of work to be done.
"We all know there is a lot of work to be done to achieve that [competing for trophies], but I am confident we'll do it," the Spaniard said following his arrival from Manchester City. "I'm realistic enough to know it won't happen overnight, but the current squad has plenty of talent and there is a great pipeline of young players coming through from the academy."
The Gunners had endured a torrid time in the Premier League under Emery. They sat 10th in the table when Arteta took over and while their current position of ninth may not point to the sort of revival many Arsenal fans may have hoped for, there's plenty of optimism at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal have made improvements under Arteta, losing just one of his 10 Premier League games in charge. It's a run that has seen them move to within eight points of fourth-placed Chelsea, with a game in hand, and reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
They were starting to build up some real momentum with three straight league wins before the suspension to the season because of the coronavirus pandemic, and while the break may not have come at the best of times for the Gunners, it has given Arteta more time to get his methods across to the players as he looks to lead a late charge towards the Champions League places.
Arsenal have one game in hand over their rivals, which comes against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, June 17, live on Sky Sports. The game will take place on the first day of the league's resumption, with a kick-off time of 8.15pm.
The Gunners have the eighth-toughest run-in before the season ends, playing sides with an average placing of 10.5.
Only Arsenal in ninth have as many top-six opposition left to play before the season is out, but they also face four of the bottom six.
Arsenal still have to face Man City, Tottenham and Wolves away from home, while they will host Liverpool and Leicester at the Emirates stadium. They also face trips to Brighton, Southampton and Aston Villa and home clashes with Norwich and Watford.
Mikel Arteta's team will then be in FA Cup action on Sunday June 28 with a quarter-final tie away to Sheffield United (1pm kick-off).
Man City vs Arsenal
Kick-Off: 8.15pm; Live on Sky Sports
Brighton v Arsenal
Southampton vs Arsenal
Kick-Off: 6pm; Live on Sky Sports
Arsenal v Norwich
Wolves vs Arsenal
Kick-Off: 5.30pm; Live on Sky Sports
Arsenal vs Leicester
Kick-Off: 8.15pm; Live on Sky Sports
Tottenham vs Arsenal
Kick-Off: 4.30pm; Live on Sky Sports
Arsenal vs Liverpool
Aston Villa vs Arsenal
Arsenal vs Watford
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Arteta's side are currently ninth, eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, but with a game in hand, as they look to secure European football for next season.
It's worth remembering that a fifth-place finish could seal Champions League football if Manchester City's European ban - one they are appealing - is upheld.
City's potential ban - and the fact that they have already won the Carabao Cup - could deliver Europa League football for the sides that finish sixth and seventh and there might yet be further reward. Should City or a team in the top five also win the FA Cup - and City's ban be upheld - the Europa League second-round qualifying spot would go to whoever finishes eighth.
Modelling by Experimental361 suggests it's going to be hard work for Arsenal to make up the gap to the Champions League places. The Gunners have just 0.20 per cent chance of finishing fourth and 1.55 per cent chance of getting up into fifth by the end of the season.
A sixth-placed finish is calculated at 4.69 per cent, a seventh-placed finish 9.83 per cent, an eighth-placed finish 15.97 per cent and a ninth-place finish at 20.34 per cent.
Arsenal are in the last eight of the FA Cup - a competition they have won a record 13 times.
Their quarter-final tie against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane will take place on Sunday, June 28 (kick-off 1pm), with the semi-finals and finals scheduled at Wembley across the weekend of July 18-19 and on Saturday, August 1 respectively.
Arteta will be boosted by the return to fitness of Kieran Tierney, who featured in the Gunners' 6-0 friendly win against Charlton on June 6 after recovering from the dislocated shoulder he suffered in December.
Meanwhile, Lucas Torreira, who fractured his ankle in Arsenal's FA Cup win at Portsmouth in March, is back training at London Colney as he steps up his rehab.
Another absentee is Calum Chambers, but the defender has resumed light training as he steps up his recovery from surgery on his injured ACL.
The break will also have done Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding plenty of good as they look to regain full sharpness following long spells on the sidelines, while Cedric Soares will be hoping to make his first appearance for the club when the season resumes.
Arsenal were starting to build up a head of steam in the Premier League.
Before the Premier League was suspended, Arteta had overseen an eight-match unbeaten run that had lifted his side to within eight points of fourth-placed Chelsea, with a game in hand on their London rivals.
The Gunners are the only unbeaten side in the Premier League in 2020 and signed off with three straight wins - against Newcastle, Everton and West Ham - before the break.
Arteta explained to Arsenal's official website the steps he's taken to ensure his side are ready for the Premier League restart.
"We're just trying to cover all the necessities that players, staff and employees need to try to sustain the club with healthy people," said Arteta, who took over from Unai Emery in December.
"They all have programmes and they all have individual work to do that they are really doing and really trying to maintain themselves so they can prepare themselves for when we have to get back playing.
"There is the psychological support that they need, which we are giving them, and as well I'm giving them a lot of homework to do because I've been reviewing everything that we've been doing since I joined."
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has notched 49 Premier League goals in just 75 games since joining Arsenal in 2018. No other player has scored more Premier League goals in that period, proving how deadly the Gabonese international is in front of goal.
Aubameyang trails Jamie Vardy by two goals and this is reflected in his price, longer odds than Vardy, but not by much. Arsenal have yet to play Brighton, Aston Villa, Norwich and Watford, so Aubameyang could well earn a second successive Golden Boot for his troubles.
Sky Sports will show 64 live Premier League games when the season resumes. In addition to the 39 matches already scheduled to be broadcast exclusively live on Sky Sports before the coronavirus interruption, 25 more matches will be available on both Sky Sports Premier League and Sky's free-to-air Pick channel, allowing the whole nation to be part of the return of live sport.
Free-to-watch highlights of every remaining Premier League game this season will be available from shortly after the full-time whistle on the Sky Sports website, Sky Sports app and Sky Sports Football YouTube channel.