Paul Merson states his prediction for Southampton v Chelsea

Paul Merson looks ahead to Chelsea's trip to Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday

Paul Merson is tipping Southampton to hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues head into the game on the back of their thumping 5-1 FA Cup fifth-round win over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge at White Hart Lane last weekend.

Guus Hiddink’s men have shown significant improvements in recent weeks and are unbeaten in the Premier League under the Dutchman since his appointment as Jose Mourinho’s successor until the end of the season back in December.

The Blues’ only defeat of 2016 came when they were beaten 2-1 by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last week.

However, former Arsenal man Merson believes that the Blues are likely to be frustrated by the Saints on Saturday.

Merson told Sky Sports: “Chelsea took a bit of a pasting when these two sides met in the reverse fixture but they’ve turned things around since then.

“This will be a good test to see how far they’ve come. Southampton have looked solid and kept a few clean sheets in recent weeks.

“It’s a very hard game to call as I don’t see too much between the sides. I’ll go for a 1-1 draw with Gary Cahill scoring the first goal.”

Chelsea, who won the league and League Cup last term, are currently 12th in the Premier League table and 15 points adrift of the top four heading into the final 12 games of the season.

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