Premier League: Goal-shy Chelsea eyes Spurs win as Man City seeks consistency

Graham Potter takes struggling Chelsea to the happy hunting ground of Tottenham on Sunday with the club desperate for a Premier League win. Manchester City seeks to turn domination into goals. League Leader Arsenal faces a tricky trip to Leicester, while Liverpool is looking to bounce back from a 5-2 humbling at the hands of Real Madrid when it travels to Crystal Palace. Third-place Manchester United is not in action as it faces Newcastle United in Sunday's League Cup final at Wembley.

Here are some of the key talking points ahead of this weekend's action in the English top-flight.

Potter under pressure. Potter is under mounting pressure to produce results with his expensively assembled Chelsea squad but will take heart from the club's impressive record against London rival Tottenham. Chelsea is aiming to extend its unbeaten Premier League run against Spurs to nine games as it seeks a fourth straight away win in league matches between the clubs.

Antonio Conte's Spurs sit fourth in the standings, 11 points clear of Chelsea, which has won just two of its past 14 matches in all competitions. Despite its large spending spree in January, the Blues look desperately short of firepower -- scoring only one goal in the past five matches. Reports suggest the Stamford Bridge hierarchy is prepared to give former Brighton boss Potter time despite the miserable run and the manager himself called for patience towards his new signings after last week's home defeat by last-place club Southampton. But defeat at Tottenham would inevitably heap more pressure on the Englishman with sections of the Chelsea supporters already calling for him to be sacked.

Inconsistent City. City's four Premier League titles in the past five seasons have been built on putting together a long streak of victories at some point of the campaign. However, the defending champion is still waiting to hit top form this season.

Pep Guardiola's team appeared to turn the tide in the title race when it beat Arsenal at the Emirates earlier this month to temporarily move into first place. But it conceded a late goal last week to draw 1-1 against Nottingham Forest after dominating the game, with Forest forward Chris Wood punishing City's profligacy. It was a similar story at RB Leipzig in the Champions League in midweek as City failed to make a dominant first half count before the German club hit back after the break to level the first leg of the round of 16 matchup.

"It was a brilliant performance, we played really good, but we didn't score," Guardiola said after dropping points at Forest. "We have to score."

Arsenal is two points ahead of City at the top of the standings and has played one fewer game than its fellow title contender. The Gunners ended a four-game winless run by coming from behind to beat Aston Villa 4-2 last weekend. But Leicester's 4-1 thrashing of Tottenham in its last home game serves as a warning of the threat posed by the Foxes.

Relegation dogfight. Just eight points separate the bottom nine teams in the Premier League, setting up an intense battle for survival. Four of those teams play each other this weekend, including Leeds and Southampton, which occupy the bottom two spots. Leeds will be hoping for a bounce after naming former Watford boss Javi Gracia as its new manager. Bournemouth, just outside the relegation zone, face the daunting task of hosting City, while struggling West Ham host Nottingham Forest. Sean Dyche is looking for a third straight home win as Everton try to inch towards safety at home against Aston Villa.

Friday: Fulham vs Wolves
Saturday: Everton vs Aston Villa, Leeds vs Southampton, Leicester vs Arsenal, West Ham vs Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth vs Manchester City, Crystal Palace vs Liverpool
Sunday: Tottenham vs Chelsea


© Agence France-Presse

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