And it was North - who scored tries in the first and third Tests of the Lions' historic series win over Australia in 2013 - who was singled out by Gatland as the potential game-changer against the Red Rose.
"We don't think he's played that well in the Welsh jersey in the last few games," said Gatland, who masterminded the Lions success Down Under in 2013.
"He does have that X Factor and we're looking for a big performance from him on Friday night. We want a high work rate.
"If he gets lots of touches and his work rate's high he will create something and it's what we're looking for from him."