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Man U, Man City get off the ground, Liverpool head to Chelsea in PL action

Sports Desk, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- The Manchester teams return to action this weekend after a busy European summer, joining what for most clubs is the second round of Premier League fixtures this weekend, which includes a heavy-weight showdown between title defenders Liverpool and Chelsea.

Off the pitch, all eyes are on the arrival of Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale, who touched down in London on Friday afternoon to pen a year-long loan deal with his former team Tottenham Hotspur. Madrid’s left-back Sergio Reguilón is also destined for the north London side.

Chelsea’s transfer window this summer has been a statement of intent, bringing the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell into the fold of Frank Lampard’s revitalized squad.

Persistent uncertainties surrounding the future of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who underwhelmed last season and was often benched in favor of Willy Caballero, are a cause for concern, however.

Liverpool’s summer signings were more reserved, but the Reds have bought a back-up left-back in the shape of Konstantinos Tsimikas from Olympiacos and, as of Thursday — although it has not officially been announced — Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich to bolster an already stacked midfield.

Last season, an imperious Liverpool beat Chelsea both home and away and Jürgen Klopp will fancy his chances again. Liverpool beat Leeds United 4-3 in an exciting opener to the season last weekend while Chelsea saw off Brighton 1-3.

“We have absolutely no idea how Frank will lineup, so many different options,” Klopp said in the pre-match press conference. “Because we don’t know a lot about Chelsea at the moment — during the season that will probably change — we just have to focus on ourselves.”

Klopp did not comment on Thiago’s rumoured transfer from the European champions.

Lampard confirmed that Chilwell, Christian Pulisic and Ziyech would not play while Silva was still getting up to match fitness.

Chelsea host Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.

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