Arsene Wenger believes a trip to reigning champions Manchester City will provide an early indication of Arsenal’s chances of challenging for the Premier League title.
Arsenal have enjoyed a positive start to this season, in sharp contrast to 12 months ago, and have followed up opening 0-0 draws with wins over Liverpool and Southampton.
Wenger will take his team to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday above City on goal difference before Arsenal face current leaders Chelsea the following weekend.
The Gunners boss feels his side have a chance of being in title contention this term and expects to learn more about his players after facing City.
“We will know that after 10 games,” said Wenger of Arsenal’s title chances. “I think we have a chance. But do we develop well, do we keep our attitude?
“I think we have a chance but at the moment I don’t know how strong our opponents are. We’ve not played against any of the title contenders yet.
“We won the championship in 2004 and we played against Chelsea in November the following season and I finished the game thinking: ‘We’ve just played against the new champions’.
“It will be important to see how we do against the bigger teams. It will be interesting.
“It will be a test next Sunday but for us the most important part will be to maintain our level of performance that we showed against Southampton and go from game to game.”
Arsenal lost Robin van Persie over the summer and Wenger suggested his side are starting to cope without the presence of last season’s leading scorer.
He added: “We are famous for having good passing and team play.
“Sometimes an individual grows up and becomes the main charisma and carrier of the team and then people notice only him, but we’ve always built around the team player.
“Van Persie scored 30 goals and when you score 30 goals everyone gives you the ball. That’s as simple as that.
“Our game at the moment is a little bit more diversified but let’s see how we deal with that in the big games.
“We have to go from game to game. The last two games were interesting.”