Chelsea host Huddersfield at Stamford Bridge tonight, with the game set to get underway at 7:45pm. Chelsea are fifth in the table, while Huddersfield are 17th.
This is an absolutely huge game for both sides, but for completely different reasons. For Chelsea, it’s to keep their slim hopes of finishing in the top four and qualifying for next season’s Champions League alive. They’re just two points behind Spurs, and are three behind Liverpool. Tonight’s game is their game in hand over the Reds, but they have a much worse goal difference so need other results to go their way. All they can do is keep winning though, and they’ll be hoping that one of the others slip up.
Realistically, Spurs need just four points from their last two games to finish in the top four. They’re at home to Newcastle tonight, and at home to Leicester on Sunday. You would imagine they’ll get four points against two teams that are playing for nothing, especially since they’re both being played at Wembley. You never know though, there’s always a chance of a slip up, so Chelsea need to do their job and see what happens.
If Chelsea win both of their games, and Liverpool drop points at Anfield against Brighton on Sunday, the Reds will drop out of the top four and Chelsea will qualify for the Champions League. I think that’s also unlikely, but once again, you never know. Chelsea’s 1-0 win against Liverpool on Sunday has really put the pressure on both Liverpool and Spurs, and when there’s that amount of pressure on you, there is always a chance of a slip up.
They just have to do their own job and see what happens. A few weeks ago, even being in with a shout of finishing in the top four looked almost impossible, but they have it in their sights now. We’ll see what happens.
Antonio Conte said: “For sure our expectations are to have a tough game. Huddersfield are fighting to avoid relegation.
“We must pay great attention and we have to play with only two days’ rest. We spent a lot of mental and physical effort. You have to win over 90 minutes, not the way you start and we must be clever.”
Chelsea remain without David Luiz and Ethan Ampadu.
There’s a completely different set of circumstances for Huddersfield, as they’re at the other end of the table, attempting to avoid relegation. They’re three points clear of the relegation zone, but with games against Chelsea and Arsenal remaining, while Swansea play Stoke on the final day, they could find the one point they need hard to come by. One point from their final two games will be enough to see them survive and will secure Premier League football for next season. Will they be able to get it? Only time will tell.
I think getting that point against Arsenal on Sunday is more likely than getting it tonight, but I can’t write them off completely. I wrote them off against Man City on Sunday, but they put in an exceptional performance and drew 0-0 with the champions. They’ll take so much confidence from that game, and they’ll know that if they put in a similar performance, they have a great chance of getting a draw from the game.
It’s definitely going to be a difficult game for them, there’s no denying that, but they have shown at times this season that they’re more than capable of causing an upset. They have been really good in some games, but have been unable to do it on a consistent basis. That’s left them down towards the bottom of the table, and left them with a real fight on their hands. Sunday’s point against Man City could prove so valuable to them though, and it could be one of the most important draws they have ever got. If they had lost that game, it would have meant they would have had to win one of their last two. A draw from those one of games is much more realistic.
Will they get the point they need? I think they will. I would be surprised if they got it tonight, but I think they’re more than capable of getting a result at home to Arsenal on Sunday. We’ll see how tonight goes and assess their game with Arsenal over the weekend if they lose tonight and that game is still important.
David Wagner said: “Even if our confidence and the belief that we have everything in our hands that we have – and we are able to – get what we need from the last games. It helps for sure, every good result and performance helps for your confidence and your beliefs.
“On Sunday, it was a very good performance and result against City. Now it’s in the past and we’re onto the next one which is a very exciting one against Chelsea away. They are a very good team, they are still fighting for the top four after their very good form and results. We need some further points on the board to make our Premier League status mathematically safe and this is how it looks for tomorrow’s game.”
He added: “Chelsea are the former Champion, they have a very good Manager and a great team in great form. This is anything but easy, but we’ve said this more than often now, we will try it, fight for it, work for it and try to make something that looks an impossible task possible.”
Wagner may look for some fresh legs tonight, but we’ll see what he thinks. Tom Ince is available, but Chris Löwe and Terence Kongolo have knocks and will be assessed.
I think this will be a very interesting game. Chelsea desperately need to win it, while Huddersfield desperately need a draw. Will the Terriers sit deep and try to keep Chelsea out? They went at Man City on Sunday and played fantastically well, but maybe a more defensive approach would be wise against the Blues. We’ll see how they set up.
I think Chelsea should get the win tonight as they have so much more quality than Huddersfield, but there’s no way I’m writing them off completely after I was left with egg on my face when previewing their game against Man City on Sunday. Have a read of it here for a good laugh at how wrong I was! We’ll see how it goes, but it should be a good game regardless.
The team news will be out at 6:45pm, and you’ll get that up here as well. Enjoy the game.