Wenger ready for City test
Arsenal manager has no doubts about the hunger of his players
Last Updated: September 22, 2012 9:12pm
Arsene Wenger: Looking for Arsenal to get a psychological edge in the title race
Arsene Wenger believes Sunday's clash with Manchester City will give Arsenal a good measure of their strength this season.
The Gunners have responded well to the £24million sale of captain Robin van Persie to Manchester United with an unbeaten start to the new campaign, which has included a battling UEFA Champions League victory in Montpellier earlier this week.
But Wenger insists his squad - boosted by the summer arrivals of Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski - can step up a level as they prepare for a stern test of their ambitions at the Etihad Stadium.
"I have no doubt about the desire and hunger of my squad. Tomorrow will just tell you how strong we are at the moment," said Wenger.
"I believe we are quite strong, but we have some room for improvement.
"All is not perfect, but the signs we are giving are very good and very strong.
"The hunger is massive in this squad. They want to do well, they are focused and they want to win.
"We want to continue to improve."
Wenger accepts that while the title may not be on the line this weekend, the chance to strike a mental blow to City's aspirations of a successful defence of their crown is.
"It is the beginning of the championship and you know that this game can have a big influence on the belief of both teams, so who will have the upper hand has a psychological advantage."
Arsene Wenger Quotes of the week
"It is the beginning of the championship and you know that this game can have a big influence on the belief of both teams, so who will have the upper hand has a psychological advantage," Wenger said.
"On that front it's a very exciting game and while it is still very early in the season, already it is a very important game for me."
Wenger is expecting another close contest at the top of this season's Premier League, no matter what the leading sides may achieve in Europe. City went down 3-2 away at Real Madrid in midweek.
"Manchester City didn't win the championship last year by 10 points," Wenger said.
"It was in the last two minutes, so it was very, very tight, and I think it will be very tight again this year."