Anton Ferdinand will rely on his head rather than his legs as he tries to keep rampant Arsenal at bay.
The 25-year-old Sunderland defender and his team-mates face the unenviable task of having to tame the Gunners at the Stadium of Light just three days after seeing them plunder six goals without reply against Champions League rivals Braga.
He said: "I tend to come off the pitch against Arsenal more mentally tired than physically tired because against Arsenal, it is about the game in your head.
"If you are switched on mentally and you are concentrating for the full 90 minutes, then you are going to come off very tired, whereas against a Stoke or a West Ham, it's not just a mental game, it is a physical game.
"I am not saying Arsenal isn't physical - it is because the pace they have that goes through the team is phenomenal.
"But as a defender, you have to come off that pitch mentally tired. If you come off the pitch mentally tired, then you know you have done well."