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Arsenal face early title-challenge test in trip to Manchester City as Blues hunt return to winning ways

By Michael Kelleher

Arsenal face an early examination of their title credentials as they travel to the Etihad Stadium to take on Premier League champions Manchester City tomorrow.

It promises to be a stern test for Arsenal as City boast a formidable home record, having taken 25 wins and a draw from their last 26 home Premier League games.

And Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is well aware of the importance of the game for his side.

“It will tell us a lot about our quality. How we handle the big games will decide how well we do in the championship,” he told the club’s official website.

Blues manager Roberto Mancini is wary of the quality in the Londoner’s side and expects Arsenal to be factor in the title race this season.

“They have lost two or three important players but I am sure that they will play for the title,” said the Italian.

“All the players they bought are good players with experience.”

Former Arsenal player Samir Nasri is doubtful for City but striker Sergio Aguero is expected to feature after being an unused substitute in the midweek defeat to Real Madrid.

For Arsenal, midfielder Abou Diaby is expected to be fit after injuring his hip while on international duty with France.

And England international Jack Wilshere is back in training after 14 months out but is still a few weeks away from a return to first-team action.

Arsenal currently sit third in the league table, just above City who are fourth, with only goal difference separating the two sides.

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