Pablo Zabaleta has called on his Manchester City team-mates to show they mean business by beating Arsenal at Eastlands on Sunday.
In a clash between two of the Premier League's title challengers, City know that victory over the Gunners will take them six points clear of their opponents, as well as keeping the heat on leaders Chelsea.
Big-spending City have enjoyed a good start to the season, with Roberto Mancini's men so far justifying the hype and giving their more established trophy-winning rivals a run for their money.
Zabaleta, who was a relatively cheap arrival from Espanyol in 2008 for £6.5million, insisted that if his side came out on top, they had every right to feel that they are serious contenders for the title.
"This is a very important game for us," he said.
"If we could beat Arsenal it would send out a big message to the rest of the league.
"Over the past couple of seasons, we have performed very well against the big teams.
"Arsenal are one of them. They have some fantastic players and are playing really well. We must do the same.
"We are a lot more consistent this season.
"We have a lot of players in this squad, so the rotation has been important.
"Everyone has had the opportunity to play a lot of games, which is important when you talk about team morale and generating momentum."
"We are in a very good position in the league but we need to stay in second position.
"The good thing is we have got to the stage now where we expect to win every game.
"Tomorrow will be difficult, but the prize of being six points ahead is a big one."