The Arsenal star who holds the key to keeping Kane and Eriksen quiet in the derby
Assuming that the successful defensive strategy Arsenal used against Manchester City will be considered too negative for such an important derby, the Gunners will most likely show up at White Hart Lane with a familiarly flimsy midfield. Their opponents, blessed with explosive speed and a ruthlessly efficient record against teams with high defensive lines and attack-minded approaches, will be relishing this fixture. Disaster looms for Arsene Wenger.
Or does it? What could decide this match is Francis Coquelin's positional intelligence, and the extent to which he can successfully negotiate the role-reversal interplay between Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen.
Spurs' most effective attacking strategy revolves around the speed and movement of these two; as one player runs into the channels, stretching the opposition backline and drawing defenders out of the centre, the other drives into newly-created space in central areas.
Kane constantly works the channels, opening up space for Spurs' playmakers to roam into. It is no coincidence that whenever Eriksen scores a late winner, Kane can be seen making a supporting run out wide.
Arsenal's Coquelin must not be persuaded to track those tricky runs or allow himself to be dragged out of position. So how he copes – accompanied (most likely) by little support from his fellow midfielders and potentially haphazard defenders behind him – will decide this match.
Coquelin is in superb form, but he cannot be expected to nullify Spurs without support from elsewhere.
Of course, Wenger may recognise the tactical necessity of fielding an extra defensive midfielder alongside Coquelin in an attempt to outwit his opposing manager for the second away match in succession.
But if Arsenal falsely believe they can play with their usual openness they will find, as Chelsea did, that Spurs are a force to be reckoned with.
Chelsea's high line was indicative of their plan to outplay Pochettinho's side. Arsenal may make the same mistake.