By Russell Edge

24th Apr, 2017 | 2:03pm

Merson predicts Chelsea v Southampton, shares what Tottenham will face 24 hours later

By Russell Edge

Paul Merson believes that Chelsea will keep the pressure on Tottenham to keep up with them with victory over Southampton.

The Blues welcome the Saints to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night knowing that victory would put them seven points clear of fellow title hopefuls Spurs.

Tottenham suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Antonio Conte’s side in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, and Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes that the league leaders will put the ball back in Spurs’ court by defeating Southampton.

He said in his prediction on the Sky Sports website: “I expect Chelsea to win this game and put severe pressure on Tottenham by going seven points clear again.

“If they’d have been beaten by Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-final they’d have lost two big games on the trot and been heading into the game against Southampton low on confidence.”

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Tottenham visit Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace on Wednesday night, but Merson believes they would have rather been playing on the Tuesday to put the pressure on leaders Chelsea.

However, it is the Stamford Bridge side who have the chance to extend their gap at the top, where the former Arsenal and Aston Villa man thinks they will remain until the end of the season.

“If they’d have been able to play Palace before and get the victory to be just one point behind, that’s a different kettle of fish,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“I see Chelsea winning the title now.”

The Blues come into this fixture having rested star men Diego Costa and Eden Hazard in the FA Cup tie at Wembley, although the Belgian international came off the bench to devastating effect against Tottenham, scoring one and setting up another.

In other Tottenham news, Paul Walsh claims that he would prefer a Spurs midfielder over Chelsea man N’Golo Kante.

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