Saturday 3, June 2023

Spurs face acid test at Man City

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.

AFP Sport takes a look at some of the talking points ahead of the weekend action.

Misfiring Spurs face ultimate test
Antonio Conte has made no secret of his dissatisfaction over Tottenham's dealings in the transfer market in January, saying his team has been "weakened".

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.

Spurs sent Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso, Bryan Gil and Jack Clarke out on loan last month, while Dele Alli signed for Everton on a permanent deal.

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.

Tottenham are not yet out of contention for a place in next season's Champions League -- they are seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United with three games in hand -- but they face an uphill task.

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.