Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Crystal Palace v Chelsea

Mark Lawrenson is tipping Chelsea to seal a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon...

Mark Lawrenson is backing Chelsea to kick off 2016 with a win by beating Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon.

Chelsea’s struggles this season have been well-documented, with the Blues currently languishing in 14th place in the Premier League table after a disastrous start to the campaign.

Guus Hiddink has been tasked with guiding Chelsea out of trouble following Jose Mourinho’s sacking in December.

The Blues have shown signs of improvement in recent weeks and held Manchester United to a goalless draw at Old Trafford on Monday night.

And former Liverpool man Lawrenson reckons that the Blues will have too much for Alan Pardew’s men in Sunday’s clash in their first game of the new year.

Lawrenson told BBC Sport: Caretaker boss Guus Hiddink has drawn his first two games in charge of Chelsea, meaning that the champions have won only two of their last 10 games in the league.

“However, they should have improved that hit-rate against Watford on Boxing Day when Oscar missed a late penalty which would likely have won the match.

“Diego Costa was suspended for the stalemate against Manchester United that followed, but looked a better player since Mourinho’s departure, scoring twice against Watford. He is available again for this trip to Selhurst Park.

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“Crystal Palace, by contrast, are running a little low with Yannick Bolasie and Connor Wickham out injured, and Yohan Cabaye suspended after picking up a fifth booking of the season in the 0-0 draw with Swansea.”

Chelsea, who won the Premier League and League Cup under Mourinho last season, are set to face Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League in the new year.

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