LONDON (AFP) - The penultimate round of matches in this season's Premier League gets under way on Saturday with several clubs looking to avoid joining already-relegated Burnley and Queens Park Rangers.
Hull occupy the one remaining relegation place but can make absolutely certain of their top-flight status, with a win away to Tottenham Hotspur.
The Tigers lost 1-0 to Burnley last weekend and manager Steve Bruce has demanded a much-improved performance from his side against Spurs.
"A lot of them fell short of the level we require and we have got to try and get it back because we have still got a chance," the former Manchester United defender added.
Newcastle and Sunderland are the next two clubs in line, with the north-east rivals both on 36 points, although Sunderland have a game in hand, against Arsenal, next week.
This weekend sees Newcastle away to QPR while Sunderland face Leicester, just a point and a place above them.
Victory at Loftus Road, allied to a Hull failure to win, would see Newcastle stay up but Magpies caretaker boss John Carver, desperate to be the manager of his hometown club come next season, said he wanted more than that.
"My pride has been hurt by the run of results. I want to do something about it. If that means winning the next two games, that will make me feel a little bit better," he said.
Sunderland welcome Leicester, buoyed by a 2-0 victory at Everton.
Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat arrived on Wearside in March thinking six or seven points might be enough to see the Black Cats beat the drop.
But although the 67-year-old Dutchman and his charges have taken 10 points from six games since his arrival, Sunderland are still not out of danger.
"We thought that with six points, we had enough, and now we have 10 points and we still need three points so, hopefully, we can do that on Saturday," he said.
Leicester, however, are on a brilliant run of six wins in their last seven matches which has seen the Foxes give themselves a remarkable lifeline after being bottom of the table for 140 days this season.