How English Premier League clubs are preparing for the league restart
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How English Premier League clubs are preparing for the league restart

English Premier League clubs on Saturday warmed up for the league restart by playing friendlies in empty stadiums. 

The Premier League is set to resume behind closed doors from 17 June after being suspended since 13 March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

At Old Trafford Manchester United divided itself into 'home' and 'away' teams with Harry Maguire leading the former and Brundo Fernandes the latter. 

Paul Pogba returns

The 'friendly' saw the return of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford back to action after a lengthy spell on the sidelines. They both donned the red home kit as Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka joined Fernandes in the away team for the match refereed by fitness coach Charlie Owen.

Rivals Arsenal went one step further and welcomed Championship strugglers Charlton to Emirates Stadium.

Mikel Arteta's Gunners ran out 6-0 winners over the Addicks, with Eddie Nketiah scoring a second-half hat-trick in addition to strikes from Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Joe Willock.

Lampard the ref

At Stamford Bridge, Frank Lampard officiated an in-house game with Ruben Loftus-Cheek scoring for the Blues in blue.

Aston Villa held a behind-closed-doors friendly against West Brom, who are second in the Championship, at Villa Park.

Jack Grealish and Keinan Davis scored for the hosts as they twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with the Baggies, for whom Kamil Grosicki and Filip Krovinovic found the back of the net.

11v11

Newcastle United had an inter-squad friendly at St James' Park which finished in a 1-1 draw.

Joelinton gave his side - wearing the Magpies' orange strip - the lead before Nabil Bentaleb equalised for those wearing the black and white kit with a stunning strike from outside the box.

Earlier in the week, Premier League leaders Liverpool held a series of short 11v11 matches at Anfield, while Norwich and West Ham also returned to Carrow Road and London Stadium respectively.

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