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.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 9 Aug 2011