Abou Diaby believes Sunday’s north London derby at White Hart Lane will be won and lost in midfield.

The likes of Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla will go head to head with Gareth Bale, Moussa Dembele and Scott Parker in the centre of the park.

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 Diaby is looking forward to locking horns with Dembele again, and has been impressed with the Belgian international since his arrival at Tottenham.

“He is very good,” he told Arsenal Player. “I played against him when he was in Belgium and he was quite impressive, but since he joined Fulham and then Tottenham he has shown very, very good quality.

“If you have a strong midfield, it is 90 per cent you will win the game because it is the heart of the team.

“Tottenham have a new manager, with a new type of play and new philosophy and that has helped them a lot. They also have some very good players. All those elements make them really good at the moment.

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“But it would be really important for us [to win at White Hart Lane] because we could get closer to them. It's vital for us.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Rob Kelly 28 Feb 2013