By 90Min
November 16, 2017

The name Christian Eriksen will be a tough one to hear for anyone from the Republic of Ireland. After a tight first leg ending in a 0-0 draw, it was all to play for in Dublin - with some fans believing that home advantage would be enough to take their country through to the World Cup. But the Spurs' great Dane had other ideas. His hat-trick helped Denmark to a historic 5-1 victory, sending the Scandinavians through to the finals in Russia next year. 

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Eriksen's match winning performance was coming. The 25-year-old has been an ever-present for his club side all season, and the manner in which he has influenced the way Spurs have played has been crucial to them getting into the Champions League places once again. There was much debate about whether Mauricio Pochettino's side could continue their form from last season at Wembley - with White Hart Lane being redeveloped - and they appear to be on course to replicate last season at least. 

With three goals and two assists in 11 Premier League matches, and hitting a hat-trick against Ireland in midweek, the Dane is hitting form at the perfect time for Spurs as they head into the North London derby this weekend. One of the most fierce rivalries in football, Arsenal are starting to experience life as an underdog in these tense battles, and they head into the derby three points behind their rivals. 

The Gunners have adopted a new system this season, as Arsene Wenger has introduced a a 3-4-2-1 formation, using Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac as wing-backs, and Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal and Francis Coquelin as the back three. Wenger has had to deal with a number of injuries, specifically to his defence, which is why Coquelin is likely feature there against Spurs. 

Eriksen will be licking his lips at the sight of the Arsenal team he will come up against. Playing Coquelin in defence will give Harry Kane plenty of freedom to run in behind the back three, giving Eriksen the option to feed balls through to England's top striker on a regular basis. The 25-year-old will also be looking at Arsenal's midfield, which is an area where the game will arguably be won. 

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Arsenal are likely to start with Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey in the centre - a duo that aren't known for their defensive capabilities. Harry Winks and Dele Alli will face late fitness tests but should be passed fit for the derby, meaning that Eriksen should play alongside Alli to try to get in between the Arsenal midfield and defence. 

Eriksen is currently at the perfect point where he has enough experience to become one of the league's greats and the athletic ability to continue his development. Working under Pochettino, Eriksen has the perfect base to continue his rise to the top, and should Spurs fail to win any silverware this year, I wouldn't be surprised if he decides to take on a new challenge in the coming seasons. His main focus, however, will be sinking Arsenal on Saturday. 

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