Earlier in the day, it was confirmed that the Gunners would indeed resume the 2019-20 campaign with a trip to face Pep Guardiola’s soon-to-be deposed champions at the Etihad Stadium.
The heavyweight fixture – twice postponed due to the Carabao Cup Final and subsequent Covid-19 outbreak – is finally due to take place on Wednesday, June 17.
Arsenal approach that fixture – the second top-flight game to be held following the restart, after Aston Villa vs Sheffield United – sitting ninth in the table, eight points adrift of the top four and only one ahead of Burnley and Crystal Palace.
However, Mikel Arteta seemed confident that his side had turned a corner following their last match before the shutdown – a narrow 1-0 win over West Ham that represented their consecutive home league triumph.
And the Spaniard’s players were hard at work at London Colney on Friday ahead of their manager’s return to his former club, with the latest pictures showing the group being put through their paces.
The likes of Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos, Lucas Torreira and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – whose contract status remains a hot topic as we approach the resumption – appeared in relaxed mood on a dreary day in Hertfordshire, while David Luiz also seemed in good spirits, though the Brazilian’s future at Arsenal remains uncertain beyond June 30.
Playmaker Mesut Ozil also trained following news of his split with sponsors Adidas earlier this week, while Southampton loanee Cedric Soares seemed to be sporting a protective facemask.