Manchester United and Chelsea endured contrasting fortunes in midweek’s Champions League action as they return to the Premier League this weekend with identical goals.
While Cristiano Ronaldo gave United an all-important three points against Villarreal, Chelsea slumped at Juventus, falling to a narrow 1-0 defeat in Turin.
Both sides are very much in contention for a top place early in the season, as United play host to Everton while Chelsea entertain out-of-sorts Southampton in London.
Manchester United vs Everton
Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show with a last-gasp winner in midweek, handing Manchester United a precious 2-1 Champions League victory over Villarreal.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will hope to build on that success when they take on high-flying Everton at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.
Coming into this round, the Red Devils have suffered a brace of 1-0 defeats in domestic football, including an underwhelming league reverse against Aston Villa at this famous venue last time out.
However, the overall Premier League H2H stakes at Old Trafford massively favor the three-time European Cup winners, as they’ve lost just two of their 29 top-flight meetings with Everton since August 1992 (W20, D7, L2).
Additionally, Man United have been scoring for fun against the Toffees lately, netting an average of 2.5 goals per game across their last four league match-ups at home (W2, D2).
So even though United and Everton have amassed the same number of points (13) heading into this round, the hosts should have the upper hand in this high-stake fixture.
Chelsea vs Southampton
Stamford Bridge is the venue as Chelsea and Southampton go head-to-head in an exciting Premier League match.
In the build-up to this fixture, the Blues have suffered a slight dip in form as they take the field after consecutive 1-0 defeats in all competitions.
However, since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard at the helm in January, the Londoners have never failed to win three competitive games on the trot.
That trend could change here, though, as Chelsea are winless in their last three Premier League meetings with Southampton (D2, L1), conceding 2+ goals twice in that run.
Firmly embroiled in a keenly-contested multi-team scrap at the top of the standings, Tuchel’s side will be desperate to bounce back from a narrow 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at this venue last time out.
It’s been nearly two years since Chelsea last lost back-to-back Premier League games at Stamford Bridge, last doing so in December 2019 under Lampard.
Meanwhile, Southampton’s form this season has been a sharp contrast to their hosts’ showings, as the visitors enter this round as one of just five sides yet to win a league match in 2021/22 (D4, L2).
Going up against the league’s second-joint best defense, the Saints already look like a doomed outfit here, having drawn a blank in five of their last eight Premier League matches.