Arsenal latest: 2013/14 fixtures announced plus Podolski calls for Lewandowski

All the latest Arsenal news and gossip.

The 2013/14 Premier League fixtures have been announced, and Arsenal will host Aston Villa in the opening game of the season. They follow it up by facing Fulham away, before hosting Tottenham in an early North London derby on the third weekend of the season.

As HITC's Nick Harris writes, it provides Arsenal with even further motivation to get their transfer business wrapped up early, and give themselves the best chance in an early pivotal match.

We have also asked if a reasonable opening nine game run gives Arsenal the opportunity to go into November at the top of the table.

Other key fixtures for the Gunners include facing Liverpool (h) and Manchester United (a) in successive weekends in November, before a tough December stretch, Everton (h), Manchester City (a), Chelsea (h) before West Ham (a) on Boxing Day.

They host Manchester United on February 11 and in March visit Spurs on the 15th, before facing Chelsea and Manchester City straight after.

The Gunners run-in is favourable, their last four games being Hull (a), Newcastle (h), West Brom (h), Norwich (a).

To see the full fixture list, click here. All fixtures are subject to change.

In transfer news, the situation with Gonzalo Higuain remains no closer, with no fresh developments. In the last 24 hours we posed the question as to whether he would actually be an upgrade on Van Persie due to his age and fitness.

Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has appealed to Robert Lewandowski to join the Gunners, telling a Polish newspaper that the club would be perfect for the Borussia Dortmund striker.

Bacary Sagna remains in talks with Arsenal over extending his current contract, which expires in 2014. He has said in an interview he still believes the club can win the title, and wouldn't be thinking about sticking around if he felt otherwise.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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