Tottenham can at least temporarily climb to as high as second with a victory over Everton in the Premier League's early kickoff on Saturday.
If Harry Redknapp's side wants another Champions League challenge, the likes of which they faced against Inter on Wednesday next season, they need to dig their heels into the top four once again.
Everton have also been fancied as Champions League contenders in the past, but two consecutive slow starts have damaged their chances of disrupting the Premier League's elite clubs, as they have done once before.
David Moyes' side have corrected their poor form of late though, having taken seven points from a possible nine in their last three games, with the all-important Merseyside derby victory over Liverpool fresh in the memory.
Everton will not be fazed by the trip to White Hart Lane either; though they lost 2-1 in north London last season, they came close to rescuing a point from the game in a thrilling encounter, with the loss breaking an impressive run of three consecutive wins on their travels to face Spurs.
Tottenham fans too will have fond memories of facing Tottenham at home. This contest has wielded a feast of goals in the past as debutant Dean Marney dominated Moyes' side in a 5-2 win on New Year's Day 2005, while the year before, a Robbie Keane hat-trick helped Spurs to a dramatic 4-3 victory. Brace yourselves...
Harry Redknapp may revert to a 4-4-2 formation at home after playing a lone striker against Fulham and Inter, while Rafael van der Vaart returns to the side after being suspended from Champions League duty.
There are still injury concerns surrounding Ledley King and Younes Kaboul, so the central defensive pairing of William Gallas and Sebastien Bassong may continue. Jermain Defoe, Jamie O'Hara, Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Dawson are still out.
Possible Starting XI: Gomes; Hutton, Bassong, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto; Van der Vaart, Huddlestone, Modric, Bale; Crouch, Pavlyuchenko.
David Moyes may be forced to make at least one change to the side that beat Liverpool on Sunday, as John Heitinga has a calf muscle strain.
Marouaine Fellaini, Steven Pienaar, Jack Rodwell and Victor Anichebe are unlikely to return until at least November, though striker Louis Saha is nearing a return to fitness.
Possible Starting XI: Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Neville, Arteta, Osman; Cahill; Yakubu.