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Mikel Arteta and Sandro get involved.
There will be plenty going on at both ends of the pitch in this game, but of particular interest will be the battle that takes place in midfield.
Jack Wilshere is likely to return for Arsenal after his one-match suspension, a timely boost as he continues his comeback from long-term injury, and a boost that might give the Gunners a decided advantage in the position.
Tottenham will definitely be without Scott Parker and, most probably, Moussa Dembele as well.
The latter in particular was a significant factor in some of Spurs' best performances this season, and he has been missed during his absence from injury.
While Sandro has maintained his good form in midfield and will provide his team their best chance of getting at Arsenal's engine room, there is only so much he can do. He will need a strong performance from whoever is alongside him to combat the threat posed by the Gunners.
Mikel Arteta did not play well against Fulham but is well capable of pulling the strings, while Santi Cazorla will be expected to drop back from time to time to assist in getting the passing game going.
Though it is unlikely, the game might prove to be as good a time as any to give Tom Carroll his first Premier League start.
While the 20-year-old cannot compensate for the dynamism of a Parker or Dembele, he can bring some much-needed creativity and a keen eye for a pass, along with the kind of mobility that Tom Huddlestone does not possess.
It is a gamble, but sometimes that is what these games are won by.
Elsewhere, look for Olivier Giroud to attempt to follow up his two goals at Fulham with his first in a North London derby, while at the other end, what Villas-Boas decides in regard to how he utilizes Jermain Defoe or Emmanuel Adebayor will be one of the most intriguing pre-match questions for Spurs.
As for those defenses...well, going by the last few weeks, do not be surprised if a mistake or two defines this game.