Key battles

Laurent Koscielny.
Laurent Koscielny.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Harry Kane.
Harry Kane.PHOTO: REUTERS
Mesut Oezil.
Mesut Oezil.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Eric Dier.
Eric Dier.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES
Alexis Sanchez.
Alexis Sanchez.PHOTO: REUTERS
Kyle Walker.
Kyle Walker.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

Match points: Arsenal v Tottenham

Laurent Koscielny v Harry Kane

Two in goal-scoring form. Koscielny, who could return after a rib injury, has struck in successive league games for the first time. Kane has four in two. More pertinently, Koscielny has been arguably the best defender in England this season while Kane was the architect of Tottenham's last derby win, scoring twice in a 2-1 triumph in February.

Mesut Oezil v Eric Dier

Oezil is finally justifying his £42.4 million (S$90.9 million) fee. Arsenal's record signing is officially the most creative player in the division and created two of their three goals at Swansea. Dier, who scored against City, has impressed as a midfielder but cannot allow the elusive German any space. He also needs others to cut off the supply line to Oezil.

Alexis Sanchez v Kyle Walker

Sanchez has had such an impact at Arsenal that it is strange to think he is yet to score in a North London derby. Walker has a winner against the Gunners, back in 2011, but there is a suspicion that while Spurs' defence is stronger in the centre now, they remain fallible on the flanks and he faces a truly outstanding winger.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2015, with the headline 'Key battles '. Print Edition | Subscribe