Tottenham Hotspur's Premier League title aspirations hinge on their ability to keep their best players like Luka Modric fit, according to Alan Hansen.
Harry Redknapp's side are widely considered the most aesthetically pleasing in the division, playing a brand of football that has not only pleased the neutral but more importantly propelled Tottenham near the summit of the Premier League.
Tottenham's form has largely been down to their notably talented individuals like Luka Modric, Emmanuel Adebayor and of course Gareth Bale and Hansen feels their respective fitness over the course of a season and their ability to avoid injuries during the rigours of a campaign, will largely determine where they finish in the Premier League this season.
In addition to citing Tottenham's key personnel, Hansen believes a sustained Premier League title challenge brings with it a unique pressure and expectation, and therefore the way Redknapp's side handles that will be crucial in their efforts to pip Manchester United and Manchester City in the title.
The Match of the Day pundit believes it is integral Tottenham maintain their excellent form but suggests there is now a palpable sense Spurs are very much in the title mix-up and therefore the expectation to win games will add to the pressure and scrutiny on the club.
"At the moment, though, with the form they are in, Spurs are in dreamland. In the last few weeks, they have been more impressive than any other side but they have to maintain that." Hansen told the BBC. "It is all very well saying 'what a great run' in January, because they need to do the same again between now and the end of the season.
"That is far easier said than done because, as well as the big games, they have to keep racking up the victories in the games they are expected to win too."
Tottenham face Wolves at the weekend in a game many expect Harry Redknapp's side to win, and Hansen believes it is exactly this type of fixture that Spurs must illustrate their title aspirations.
"For example, they face Wolves at home on Saturday, and Mick McCarthy's side are already fighting for their lives." Hansen continued. "That is the type of game Spurs simply have to win. If they do get three points, it means that when they go to Etihad Stadium on 22 January a draw is a good result. If they do slip up, they will leave themselves with more and more to do to stay in touch at the top."
While happy to acknowledge the growing stature of Tottenham in English football, Hansen suggests the next few months will be a true test of Redknapp's squad, intimating, like any side with title aspirations, it is how one responds to setbacks both in terms of results and injuries, that defines a team.
"Can they win the title?" Hansen mused. "A lot could still go wrong but they don't have any European distractions and they have the strength in depth they need. If they can keep players like Modric, Adebayor, Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon fit, then they have got a real chance."
Tottenham's victory over Everton in midweek drew them level on points with Manchester United, and Spurs could draw level with Manchester City this weekend with a win over Wolves, because the league leaders do not play until Monday night.