Romelu Lukaku is the new favourite for the Premier League Golden Boot after Harry Kane, who is trying to retain the top goalscorer award, suffered his second ankle injury of the season.
Kane had been on a terrific run of 19 goals in 19 matches since mid-September, although he was sidelined for six weeks in the autumn with an ankle problem sustained near the end of Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 victory against Sunderland in which he scored the winner.
And with the England striker in terrific form, fresh from a double against Everton, he sustained a similar knock early in the FA Cup rout of Millwall, with manager Mauricio Pochettino comparing it after the match to Kane’s injury of six months earlier.
Therefore, with the Spurs man likely to miss several matches, his Golden Boot odds have drifted to 4/1 as Lukaku, level with Kane at the top of the chart on 19 Premier League goals for the season, has the chance to pull away while he is sidelined.
It remains extremely close, however, and a brace of players are within two goals of Kane and Lukaku with Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez and Chelsea’s Diego Costa on 17 for the campaign.
Diego Costa (left) of Chelsea in action during a pre-season friendly match against Rapid Vienna (Getty Images)
Of that duo, Costa is the one the bookmakers prefer, his odds being less than half those of Sanchez, mainly because he is an automatic choice to lead the line for runaway league leaders Chelsea whereas the Chilean sometimes has to play in support of Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud or Danny Welbeck, while the Blues are showing no signs that their goalscoring will dry up.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, at the age of 35, has also given no indication that his individual powers are waning with 15 league goals in his first season for Manchester United, but his Top Goalscorer odds were pushed right out after he was issued retrospectively with a three-match suspension for elbowing Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings.
Sergio Aguero, the 2014-15 Golden Boot winner, has plenty of ground to make up having served two suspensions this season and also been kept out of the Manchester City starting line-up temporarily following the superb early impact made by the club’s exciting Brazilian arrival Gabriel Jesus…until he suffered a foot injury that let the Argentine back in.