By Nik Brumsack

Vito Mannone believes Arsenal must dictate play if they are to beat Manchester City in Sunday's crucial clash at the Etihad Stadium

Arsène Wenger’s side have been in fine form so far this season, and have won their last three games in all competitions.

But the trip north to face the Premier League champions is their biggest game yet, and Mannone feels they will have to control proceedings if they are to leave with a positive result.

“It is a tough test. I thought we were in a good state at Liverpool because we went to a big game in a big stadium and from there we really started our season,” he said.

“City are champions so we know we have to go there and prepare properly. We must dictate the game because they are a great team and it will be a top challenge.”

Mannone has played a key role in the Club’s fine start to the season, deputising for the injured Wojciech Szczesny and conceding just one goal in three appearances. And now he wants the No 1 spot on a permanent basis.

“I have always been focused," he said. "I had two clean sheets in the first two games I played and before the Southampton game [which saw Szczesny return] the boss talked to me and for the first time I felt he understood I was ready to be No 1,” he said.

“It went well [against Montpellier] so I am really focused on gaining the No 1 spot and keeping it. The boss had some nice words for me and he talked to me and said I am ready to be No 1.

“So I just need to show him what I’m doing and hopefully I can get that spot and do my best to help this team win some trophies.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 19 Sep 2012