Wenger: Man City a test of Arsenal's progress
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said Sunday's trip to champions Manchester City would provide the proper measure of his side's early-season form.
Like City, the Gunners are unbeaten in their opening four games of the season but have been the more impressive so far, banging in six goals against Southampton last week.
"It will tell us a lot about our quality," Wenger said at his Friday news conference. "How we handle the big games will decide how well we do in the championship. That is why it is an interesting weekend for us.
"It will just tell you how strong we are at the moment."
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled out a return for Wayne Rooney in Sunday's clash with Liverpool.
The striker has been out since gashing his thigh against Wigan Athletic last month.
"I know there were reports in the paper about Rooney being possible, but that is not the case. He's not far away, I think he may be fine for next week," Ferguson said at his news conference.
"He's doing a lot of great training and has been working hard. It's just a matter of getting him into the full football training side of things."
Ashley Young will also be missing with a knee injury.
Chelsea's new Brazilian wonderkid Oscar is struggling to be fit for the home clash with Stoke City on Saturday after hurting his ankle in the 2-2 draw with Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Daniel Sturridge is also unavailable for Chelsea as he is still recovering from a hamstring injury.
Stoke, seeking a first league victory at Chelsea since 1975, will be without defender Andy Wilkinson on Saturday after he was given a three-match ban for violent following an incident with Manchester City's Mario Balotelli last week.
Maurice Edu could be in line for his Stoke debut following his international duty with the United States.
Everton's Croatia striker Nikica Jelavic is unlikely to play at Swansea City on Saturday after bruising his knee and shin colliding with the post in the 2-2 draw against Newcastle United on Monday.
Darron Gibson is also missing and Tony Hibbert remains doubtful as Everton attempt to protect their record of never having lost to Swansea in 14 previous encounters.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Emmanuel Adebayor will face fitness tests on Saturday to check on a hamstring injury.
Spurs face Queens Park Rangers at White Hart Lane on Sunday still looking for their first home win under new coach Andre Villas-Boas.
Brad Friedel is likely to return in goal despite Frenchman Hugo Lloris making his debut in the 0-0 draw with Lazio in the Europa League on Thursday.
After three draws, Sunderland will be without Spanish defender Carlos Cuellar as they try and register their first league win of the season against West Ham United on Saturday.
"Carlos has a hamstring problem and I think he would be very doubtful for not only this game but perhaps the next couple of matches," manager Martin O'Neill told Sunderland's website.
"From that viewpoint it's a bit disconcerting but these things happen and we have to get on with it."
O'Neill hopes winger Adam Johnson will be fit.