The Reds welcome Steve Agnew’s downtrodden side to Anfield knowing three points will be enough to seal a top-four finish in the Premier League.
But as they have continually shown against lesser sides this season, nothing is a sure thing for Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds.
However, Wijnaldum is embracing the pressure, buoyed by the 4-0 win away to the Hammers last time out—a result which saw Liverpool surpass expectations.
“This will be our biggest game of the season,” he explained.
“If we win we will be in the Champions League so the prize is big. If we lose or draw we might miss out.
“We have a big chance but we have to get a result. We will decide where we finish this season.
“We can make it easy for ourselves if we play well and score goals. It’s down to us. It’s about how we start the game and how concentrated we are.
“At this stage of the season every game gets bigger and bigger. We knew we had to win [at West Ham] and the performance of the team was really good.
“We scored four goals and kept a clean sheet. Now we have to do the same against Middlesbrough.”
Wijnaldum is yet to play in the Champions League proper, having suffered defeat at the hands of AC Milan in the qualifiers with PSV Eindhoven in 2013.
The 26-year-old does have considerable experience in the Europa League, making 25 appearances in Europe’s second tier with PSV, but a top-four finish this season would herald a step up.
And Wijnaldum, confidently, has declared that it would “just be the start” if Liverpool can secure their place in the Champions League.
“It’s in our own hands and it would be a good achievement,” he added.
“It would be a good step for next season for us to play against better teams in the Champions League.
“Getting more experience as a team and learning to handle more matches will make us better.
“Qualifying for the Champions League would just be the start. This is the beginning of something that can go much bigger.”