MATCHDAY: Chelsea opens at Brighton after heavy spending

A look at what’s happening around European soccer on Monday:

ENGLAND

England’s biggest spenders in the summer transfer window start their season when Chelsea plays away at Brighton. Chelsea has spent around $250 million. Forwards Timo Werner and Kai Havertz should feature in the opener, but Hakim Ziyech is out with knee trouble and left back Ben Chilwell is recovering from a heel problem.

Frank Lampard, who is the club’s record-scorer scorer, is starting his second season managing the west London club after finishing fourth in July. Brighton drew 1-1 with Chelsea two weeks ago in a friendly used as a pilot event for the return of supporters though the league game will be played in an empty stadium due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

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The latest Portuguese signing for Wolverhampton is set to feature in the squad for the opening game at Sheffield United. Fabio Silva became the club’s record signing when the 18-year-old forward joined from Porto for 40 million euros ($47 million). Wolves and United both challenged for European qualification last season but both sides missed out.

GERMANY

Borussia Dortmund’s season begins with a visit to third-division side MSV Duisburg in the first round of the German Cup. Highly rated midfielders Jude Bellingham and Reinier could make their competitive debuts.

The 17-year-old Bellingham has impressed in preseason since his switch from Birmingham, and hopes are high that Brazilian midfielder Reinier’s loan spell from Real Madrid can be as successful as Achraf Hakimi’s. Hakimi has since returned to Madrid and transferred to Inter Milan.

Dortmund coach Lucien Favre has a full squad as his disposal with his players returning healthy from the international break.

Marco Reus is on the verge of returning from the injury he sustained in February when Dortmund was knocked out of last season’s cup by Werder Bremen. But the 31-year-old Reus faces internal competition from the 17-year-old American Giovanni Reyna.

Also Monday, Dynamo Dresden hosts Hamburger SV in front of up 10,000 fans, the biggest crowd any German team will have had since the coronavirus pandemic.

Only 300 fans are allowed in Duisburg for Dortmund’s visit. Local authorities are responsible for setting differing limits on the number of fans allowed at games around the country.

Elsewhere, Würzburger Kickers hosts Hannover and newly promoted Bundesliga side Arminia Bielefeld visits Rot-Weiss Essen.

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