Arsenal return to action with stern test at home to champions Liverpool

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta (centre) celebrates with Thomas Partey (left) and Granit Xhaka after th

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta (centre) celebrates with Thomas Partey (left) and Granit Xhaka after the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday March 14, 2021. - Credit: PA

Arsenal return to Premier League action following the international break looking to build on recent momentum.

The Gunners face a stern test upon their return as they welcome reigning champions Liverpool to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday (8pm).

It is a busy week for Mikel Arteta’s men as they also face Slavia Prague in a Europa League quarter-final first leg next Thursday (April, 8).

Arsenal currently sit ninth in the league, but nine points off the Champions League places, and will perhaps have to rely on success in Europe to bag a spot among Europe’s Elite competition next season.

Boss Arteta will have one eye on continuing to rebuild the north London outfit, having already moved players while giving more game time to youngsters.

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The club recently announced a loss of £47.8 million for the financial year 2019/20.

Several departures are expected and players including Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are heading into the final year of their contracts, while the likes of Sead Kolasinac, who is currently on loan at Schalke, and other first team fringe players look set to leave permanently.

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David Luiz will be a free agent in the summer and is expected to depart when his contract expires.

The 33-year-old was handed an extra 12 months on his deal last summer after impressing Gunners boss Mikel Arteta with the impact he had on the younger members.

But an extension for Luiz - who turns 34 in April - makes little sense with the likes of Dinos Mavropanos and William Saliba returning from their respective loan spells.

Dani Ceballos is expected to return to his parent club Real Madrid at the end of his loan spell, as he is keen to battle for his place at the Spanish club.

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