Sports Desk, Sep 18 (EFE).- 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.
Manchester United are back in action on Saturday, kicking off their delayed Premier League campaign against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team was granted extra rest having taken part in the Europa League in August.
One new face to the side that finished third last season is Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek, who joined from Ajax over the summer and could make his debut, slotting in alongside stalwarts like Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, who last season scored eight goals in just 14 appearances having only signed for the club in the January transfer window last season.
Roy Hodgson's well-drilled team travel up the road to Manchester having won their opening game against Southampton last weekend.
United's crosstown rivals, Pep Guardiola'sManchester City, open their season with a trip to Molineux against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday evening.
Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres joined City over the summer and the team will have its eyes set on a league title this year, if it can fend off Liverpool.
City will have to iron out some issues in defense as the season progresses, which is an area that Wolves, a team that is particularly strong on the counter attack through the pace and power of Spanish forward Adama Traoure, could prey on.
The team from the Midlands saw off Sheffield United last week with goals from in-form Mexican striker Raul Jiménez Rodríguez and Romain Saïss.
Arsenal head into their London derby against West Ham United on Saturday with Mikel Arteta's side hoping to reproduce last week's winning performance against Fulham and kick on this season having secured Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's future at the club for the next three seasons.
Fulham, on the other hand, have a date at Elland Road against fellow promoted side Leeds.
Marcelo's Bielsa's team came blasting into their first Premier League season in 16 years and almost held things level against Liverpool were it not for Rodrigo's penalty give-away last weekend.
The result aside, Leeds' looked up for the job against the Reds and will look to continue its impressive attacking form against the London side.
On Sunday, Southampton host Spurs, Newcastle welcome Brighton and Hove Albion and Leicester City play Burnley.
Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday get Monday's fixtures kicked off before Man City vs. Wolves. EFE
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