Paul Davis told Sky Sports News that the midfield battle will determine who comes out on top when Arsenal take on Manchester United on Saturday.
Former Gunner, Davis patrolled the middle of the park for Arsenal between 1980 and 1995, and he believes that Saturday's top of the table clash will be decided by the array of midfield talent that will be on display.
Alex Ferguson's team have won their last eight Premier League matches since losing to neighbours Manchester City in August, and Arsenal are unbeaten in all competitions so far this season.
And with Cesc Fabregas in the form of his life, Davis is sure that the Spain star could be the key to the north London club extending their unbeaten run.
"Certainly games are won and lost in that midfield area," said Davis, "and I think that will be the case at the weekend.
"Arsenal have got Fabregas, [Aleksandr] Hleb and [Tomas] Rosicky - really good ball players."
But Davis feels that the champions are also strong with a midfield that, although will be missing the injured Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick, still boasts the likes of Ryan Giggs, Owen Hargreaves and Anderson.
"Man United probably haven't got as many natural ball players as Arsenal," continued Davis.
"But they have a strong midfield as well, so for me the match really hangs on that area of the pitch and who can supply the forward players with the ball."
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