Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his side's form at Emirates Stadium will dictate whether it can mount a sustained challenge for the Barclays Premier League title.
The Gunners head into Saturday's showdown with leaders Chelsea (7:45 a.m. ET on ESPN2) unbeaten so far this season -- sweeping past Southampton 6-1, kicking off their European campaign with victory in Montpellier before battling to a draw at Manchester City, and thumping Coventry to reach the last 16 of the Capital One Cup.
After a goalless draw on the opening day with Sunderland, Wenger has challenged his side to make Emirates Stadium a fortress as it looks to last the distance this time around.
"If we do well at home against the strong teams, it will of course have a big impact on our chances in the league," said Wenger. "We have played one (big team) where we got some belief, against Manchester City away. Saturday it is another one, but it is a different one because we are at home."
Despite Arsenal earning praise for its performance in last weekend's 1-1 draw at City, which they could well have won but for Gervinho blasting over from a good position in stoppage time, Wenger maintains it is "still a bit early" to be talking up any side.
"You will know more about us after 10 games or 15 games," he said. "I believe in our potential, but we have to show that we are capable to deal with all kinds of problems that consistency demands. We will certainly know a bit more about us on Saturday afternoon -- but much more about us after 10 or 15 games."
After a slow start with successive 0-0 draws, Arsenal has now hit nine league goals, conceding just twice.
"We had a difficult start on that front because we played Sunderland and Stoke and could not score. After that when we started to score, you felt in every game we had the chances to score," Wenger said on Arsenal Player. "For us it is more about converting the chances we have into goals. Our conversion rate from goal chance into goals is very important. In big games the number of chances is reduced, so it is important to put them into the net."
Chelsea heads to Emirates Stadium top of the table above Manchester United by a point with four wins and a draw, as well as on the back of a convincing midweek cup win.
Blues boss Roberto di Matteo is looking to reshape his squad, having brought in Belgian starlet Eden Hazard in a £32 million ($51.6 million) deal over the summer.
Hazard, 21, is a player Wenger knows well, and previously had tried to sign for Arsenal.
"I am not surprised at all that he goes to Chelsea and straight away is one of their stars because everybody knew about him," Wenger told a news conference. "Let's not forget that all the big budgets in England were after him."
Wenger feels Chelsea remains a potent threat, even if Arsenal's long-term tormentor Didier Drogba is no longer leading the attack.
"Chelsea have rejuvenated because they bought some very young players with maybe a more technical style, (they have) gone a little bit more creative," he said. "Until now it has worked well for them so it is a good challenge for us to beat them."
Di Matteo on Friday challenged Chelsea to prove they could "move on" without Drogba, who quit the club this summer after eight years in which he terrorized their north London neighbors.
The striker scored 13 goals in 14 games against Arsenal, prompting Gunners boss Arsene Wenger to declare Thursday: "I don't know if Chelsea miss him, but we don't miss him."
Drogba became the ringleader as Chelsea repeatedly bullied Wenger's men following the Ivory Coast star's arrival at Stamford Bridge.
"Didier Drogba has been a fantastic player for this club for many years, but we have to move on from that," Di Matteo said. "That's the past. We're looking to the future now."
Information from Press Association was used in this report.