Paul Merson states his prediction for Southampton v Chelsea FC

The Arsenal legend believes Chelsea FC will ease to a 3-1 win over Southampton at St Mary's on Sunday afternoon

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Chelsea FC manager Maurizio Sarri Photo: The Sport Review

Paul Merson is backing Chelsea FC to ease to a 3-1 win against Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday afternoon.

The Blues will be hoping to capitalise on their title rivals Liverpool FC and Manchester City meeting at Anfield in the weekend’s final game.

Chelsea FC will make the trip to the south coast to take on a struggling Saints side at St Mary’s this weekend before the international break.

The Blues won their opening five Premier League games before a goalless stalemate at West Ham United and a 1-1 draw with title contenders Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge.

Maurizio Sarri’s side dropped to third place in the Premier League table but just two points adrift of leaders Manchester City and Liverpool FC.

Chelsea FC will be facing a Southampton side with one win in the current campaign as former Blues manager Mark Hughes struggles to reverse the Saints’ ailing fortunes.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson is confident Chelsea FC will make a return to winning ways in the Premier League at St Mary’s on Sunday.

“Southampton had a great result in midweek in the Carabao Cup against Everton,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“They are not going to win the league or come seventh even so why not give your fans a day out at Wembley like they did a few years ago.

“Their midweek performance will have taken a lot out of them. Chelsea are in the Europa League but they will rest a lot of their stars. I just don’t see how Southampton contain Eden Hazard, I think it’s impossible.”

Chelsea FC turned to former Napoli manager Sarri in the summer after Antonio Conte parted company with the west London side following a mixed second season in charge.

The ex-Juventus boss led Chelsea FC to the Premier League title in the 2016-17 season after the Blues became the first team to win 30 games in an individual campaign.

Conte struggled to build on his impressive debut season in 2017-18 but the Italian coach still signed off with the FA Cup after Chelsea FC were 1-0 winners against Manchester United.

Chelsea FC have won the Premier League twice in the past four seasons under Conte and Jose Mourinho, but the Blues have struggled in the seasons following their title triumphs.

Sarri’s side have been talked up as potential contenders this season despite finishing in fifth spot in the Premier League last season.

Chelsea FC’s minimum goal will be securing a spot in the Champions League under Sarri this term to avoid another season in the Europa League.

The Italian coach signed Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and Rob Green in the 2018 summer transfer window.

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