Thomas Vermaelen says Arsenal are feeling good after working hard during pre-season and insists they are ready to hit the ground running when the new campaign starts this weekend.

Arsène Wenger’s side begin their Premier League season with a trip to Newcastle on Saturday before hosting Udinese in the first leg of their Champions League Play-Off three days later.

In a tough start to 2011/12, Liverpool then visit Emirates Stadium before the return leg in Udine and a mouthwatering game against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

“We have worked hard and I feel we are ready for it because the fitness is good in the team and we feel good,” Vermaelen told the Official Arsenal Magazine.

“We have had a good pre-season over the past few weeks. In pre-season, the most important thing is training hard and getting your fitness back.

“We worked really hard in Germany, as hard as we did in Austria, so that was a tough week for us to get our fitness back. I think that week was really important and we were very pleased with that.”

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9 Aug 2011