By Joe Brewin

Arsène Wenger is bracing himself for a backlash from Manchester City on Sunday.

Roberto Mancini’s side lost their first game of the season against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday night but still remain top of the Premier League table. And Wenger knows his players must sustain their impressive form if they are to walk away from the Etihad Stadium with a positive result.

“They had two disappointments but they will want to respond,” said the Frenchman.

“Defeats always take a bit of confidence away from you but let’s not speculate on any weakness from their part and make sure on our side we are at our best level.

“It’s the second big test away from home for us. It’s a massive test and we know that you want to be at our best.

“We are ready for it physically and mentally. We are prepared and will give absolutely everything to win the game because we are in a position where we want to win the game.

“The one turning point in our season was the away test at Chelsea because we had not won away before that game.”

Mancini’s side have left plenty of teams in their wake this season, finding the net 49 times in just 15 games.

The highlight of their long unbeaten start came with a 6-1 thrashing of local rivals Manchester United, who themselves put eight goals past Arsenal back in August at Old Trafford.

“So that’s 14 together!” joked Wenger. “Fortunately it doesn’t work like that.

“You could say as well that Chelsea have beaten them [Man City] and we have beaten Chelsea so it could go the other way as well. Football is about the form and performance of the day - that makes the difference.

“You ask me can we beat them and I say yes. If we play at our best we can beat them, so let’s be at our best on Sunday.”

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 16 Dec 2011