Realistic hopes of Romelu Lukaku landing the Golden Boot ended when Harry Kane fired four goals past Leicester on Thursday. Now two goals behind Kane, a Lukaku hat trick is asking a lot of a team without an away win in seven matches. Similarly, Lukaku is four games without a goal, having failed to score in six of his past eight matches.
Nonetheless, this is a chance to prove a point and begin erasing some of the memories of past tenures. David Moyes perpetually failed away from home against the best sides, while Roberto Martinez managed only one win, against a Manchester United team in disarray following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
That victory at Old Trafford in 2013 remains the only away win against one of the six teams above them in the last seven years. A mere three wins in the past 32 visits to White Hart Lane gives some idea of the improvement required. Winless runs at Anfield and Stamford Bridge stand at 19 and 26 matches respectively, while recent form away to the two Manchester clubs is only marginally less painful.
Yet aside from improving away form and correcting the inferiority complex evident in these games, there is a wider subplot that centres on a home team with rather more on their minds. Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger need three points and an improbable Middlesbrough result at Anfield to snatch fourth place away from Everton's neighbours.