Paul Merson is backing Southampton to hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw.

Arsenal great Paul Merson is backing the Saints to hold the Blues when both sides face each other in the Premier League.

Southampton host the Premier League champions at the St. Mary's this weekend and look to maintain their solidarity on the pitch as they take on Chelsea - who have turned the corner since Guus Hiddink's arrival.

Chelsea also look to continue their winning ways after beating Manchester City 5-1 in the fifth round of the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge.

However, Merson reckons the clash will be a good test for Hiddink's side.

He 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."

The west London club are currently 12th in the Premier League table, 15 points behind the final top-four spot.

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