Huddersfield Town need a point to secure Premier League survival, and their result against Chelsea tonight could help Liverpool‘s top-four battle.
The English top flight claimed another casualty on Tuesday, as Southampton‘s hard-fought 1-0 win away to Swansea City saw West Brom join Stoke City in next season’s Championship.
Swansea’s defeat at the Liberty Stadium sees Carlos Carvalhal’s side clinging for safety, but their fate is now out of their hands.
Huddersfield take to Stamford Bridge tonight in the knowledge that a single point would be enough to maintain their Premier League status and consign the Swans to the second tier.
That doing so could also come at the expense of top-four chasing Chelsea adds considerable intrigue to the clash from a Liverpool perspective.
Though Chelsea beat the Reds convincingly in south-west London at the weekend, Jurgen Klopp‘s side are still in the driver’s seat.
Holding a three-point lead over their rivals having already played their penultimate game, Liverpool need a win from Sunday’s visit of Brighton to guarantee a top-four finish.
This heaps pressure on the Blues tonight, and taking on a determined Huddersfield side, who held Man City to a 0-0 draw away from home last time out, they face a tough challenge.
A point for Huddersfield would see Chelsea needing to win their final game, away to Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United, as well as hoping Liverpool lose to Chris Hughton’s already-safe Seagulls.
More importantly, a win for the Terriers would tie up at least fourth place for the Reds, with fellow contenders Tottenham to play Newcastle tonight and Leicester City on Sunday.
Doing so would be the ultimate gift from Wagner to Klopp, with the Germans sharing a strong bond from their days at Mainz through to working together at Borussia Dortmund.
Wagner was Klopp’s best man, and speaking to Sky Sports last year the Liverpool manager described their relationship as “like family.”
“We understand each other as brothers and it feels like this as it is that long,” he explained.
Since Huddersfield’s promotion to the Premier League, Wagner is yet to get the better of Klopp in the dugout, losing 3-0 to the Reds both in October and January.
But with the Terriers losing only once in their last four games, and facing another hard clash at home to Arsenal next, he will be looking for a result that will favour both his side and that of his friend.