Talking Points

There will be a lot of nerves around Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night when Chelsea host relegation-threatened Huddersfield Town for a crucial Premier League clash.

Both teams have big things to play for in what is the penultimate game of the season, so expect a cagey encounter in the capital.

Here are the five things to watch out for as Antonio Conte’s side aim to pick up three points for their final home game of the season:

#1 Race for the Champions League

Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Liverpool at the weekend has well and truly opened up the race for the top-four. At this moment in time, Conte’s side sit two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham and three points behind third-placed Liverpool, who have played a game extra. Both Spurs and Chelsea have midweek games, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side hosting Rafa Benitez’ Newcastle. A defeat for Conte’s men and a win for Tottenham would end Chelsea’s hopes of playing Champions League football for next season. However, three points will make the final weekend of the season very nervy for Spurs and the red half of Merseyside.

#2 Signs of last season

Following their title-winning campaign last season, Chelsea have faced numerous problems both on and off the pitch this time around. However, on Sunday afternoon, they showed signs of that title-winning team when they nullified the threat of Liverpool’s front three. The performance of the back five, in particular, Antonio Rudiger, was a clear positive sign that this Chelsea team are still playing for their manager. Show that for their final two league games then a top-four finish might not be off the cards.

#3 Giroud the unlikely hero?

Following his move from Arsenal during the January transfer window, Olivier Giroud struggled to earn a starting place at his new club. However, the Frenchman quickly earned his starting spot by helping Chelsea produce a magnificent comeback last month when they came from 2-0 down to beat Southampton 3-2 away from home. Since that brace at St Mary’s, Giroud has started four games in all competitions, where he has found the back of the net on a further two occasions, including the winner against Liverpool at the weekend. If Chelsea do claim a Champions League place then there is no doubt that Giroud will end up being the unlikely hero for the London club.

#4 Huddersfield fighting for survival

If Huddersfield can clinch all three points against Chelsea then their Premier League survival will be confirmed for this season. David Wagner’s side are currently three points above the drop zone following their 0-0 draw at Manchester City on Sunday. If other results go their way then a point might be enough for the Yorkshire club, so Chelsea fans should expect a team that will be ready to fight for every ball on Wednesday.

#5 Reaction if Chelsea lose

There has been a lot of talk about Conte’s future this season, with many expecting the Italian to leave the club in the summer. A defeat against Huddersfield would, more than likely, end their quest of finishing in the top-four and add fuel to the Conte stories. Not only that, Chelsea want to go into their FA Cup final against Manchester United on May 19 full of confidence and not with a negative mindset.