HUDDERSFIELD Giants will be right behind Bradford Bulls and St Helens tonight.
Victory for both sides would be massive for the Giants in their bid to finish as high up the Super League ladder as possible.
The Bulls’ trip to Hull FC is by far the most important.
If Hull are beaten, the Giants know that if they win at Hull KR the following night they will finish fourth and will be guaranteed a home tie in their opening play-off clash the following Saturday.
But if the Bulls are beaten, the Giants know the best they can hope for is a fifth-placed finish and a trip to Hull.
And Huddersfield are also aware that if they are beaten at Hull KR, they could finish the season sixth – and then face a trip to the side that ends the season third next Friday – if Wigan beat Saints.
The Warriors are desperate to secure a win to give their play-off campaign some real momentum.
A Wigan victory would end Warrington’s hopes of finishing in the top six, even if the Wolves do win at relegated Salford City Reds tonight.
But if Wigan manage to beat St Helens at the JJB Stadium by more than 10 points, they will move ahead of the Giants and into fifth spot, putting extra pressure on Huddersfield to succeed at Hull KR in front of the Sky TV cameras tomorrow night.
And Wigan coach Brian Noble believes his side can topple Saints.
“We have to win to get where we want to be in the top six and the boys are very focused,” said Noble, left.
“I’m sure Saints will want to deny us sixth spot, but we are determined. It is do or die, Monte Carlo or bust, it’s important we show up and do well.
“The good thing is that it is in our own hands. If we get the result we want, we’ve done it.”
In the closest finish yet to a regular Super League campaign, all four of tonight’s matches will have a bearing on the outcome of the final placings.
Leeds need a point from their home match against Wakefield to guarantee second spot and an easier route to the Old Trafford Grand Final, with third-placed Bradford ready to seize on another slip by the Rhinos, who lost at home to Hull last week.
“Hull did us a favour last week by beating Leeds but we certainly won’t be doing them any favours this week,” said Bradford coach Steve McNamara.
“At this stage it is about finishing as high as possible and we will be putting as good a side as we can out this week.”
The Bulls, who have not been out of the top three all season, are boosted by the return of New Zealand Test centre Shontayne Hape as they look to maintain their momentum for the play-offs.
Hape is making a return after almost six months after undergoing major knee surgery.