Mark Lawrenson states prediction for Southampton v Chelsea

Mark Lawrenson is backing Southampton to hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at St Mary's on Sunday

Mark Lawrenson has backed Southampton to hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.

The defending Premier League champions were emphatic 5-1 winners against Manchester City’s second string in the FA Cup fifth round at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

Hiddink has only lost once since taking over the Chelsea reins for a second time from axed manager Jose Mourinho in December.

Paris Saint-Germain inflicted the first defeat of Hiddink’s second spell after goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie earlier this month.

Former Liverpool defender Lawrenson is tipping the Saints to test Hiddink’s unbeaten domestic record on the south coast on Saturday afternoon.

“Chelsea have improved under Guus Hiddink but they are still nowhere near the team they were in the first half of last season,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“Hiddink has not lost a domestic game since he took over before Christmas, but extending that record will not be easy because Saints are not conceding goals and will be full of confidence.”

The Saints are in sixth place in the Premier League table and seven points clear of 12th-placed Chelsea ahead of Saturday’s clash.

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Southampton were 3-1 winners against the defending champions at Stamford Bridge earlier this season.

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