Tottenham Hotspur face a daunting trip to Manchester City this weekend, desperate to arrest a losing streak that threatens to derail their season as Manchester United brace themselves for a hostile reception at Leeds.
Newcastle can pull further clear of relegation trouble and dent West Ham’s top-four ambitions as they seek their fourth straight league win while Norwich, Watford and Burnley are all in desperate need of points.
Misfiring Spurs face ultimate test
The former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss started his reign in north London brightly, going unbeaten in the Premier League from November until January, but three straight league defeats have set alarm bells ringing.
They brought in Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski from Juventus but Conte was underwhelmed by the club’s business, telling Sky Sport Italia he needed more experienced players to push for the top four.
Spurs will seek to draw confidence from their home victory against Pep Guardiola’s men in August, when Nuno Espirito Santo was still at the helm, but few would tip them to interrupt City’s march towards a fourth title in five years.
Manchester United huffed and puffed in midweek before finding a way to beat 10-man Brighton but they face a daunting test of their character at Elland Road on Sunday.
In-form goalkeeper David de Gea, who has never faced Leeds in an away match in his decade at United, is well aware of the depth of feeling between the two sets of fans.
“We should be fighting for better things than we are doing at the moment,” the Spain international told the PA news agency.
Is time up for Burnley?
But their sixth straight season in the top division could be their last for now unless something changes dramatically.
If Burnley win their games in hand they would be right back in the mix but a solitary league victory all season shows the scale of their task.
And despite recent encouraging performances against Manchester United and Liverpool, Burnley, who lost striker Chris Wood in the transfer window, look likely to go down.