Midfielder Santi Cazorla insists Arsenal are above Manchester City at the top of the Barclays Premier League on merit.
The Gunners maintained their slender one-point advantage over free-scoring City with a 2-0 win against Fulham at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday through two well-taken second-half goals from the Spain international.
Bookmakers and pundits alike continue to suggest it will only be a matter of time before Arsene Wenger's men are overtaken in the championship race, with Manuel Pellegrini's side on irresistible form having taken their goals tally to the season to 103 in their win over Cardiff.
Cazorla, though, sees no reason Arsenal should not be considered genuine contenders to last the distance as they continue to answer all questions of their character.
"At the moment, we are showing that we are up there with them," Cazorla said.
"Maybe at the start of the season nobody put us up as high as Manchester City or Chelsea, maybe because of the signings they made. But it is ultimately demonstrated on the pitch and, right now, Arsenal are above them and our objective is to keep fighting with them.
"(But yes) it is true, they are big favourites for the title as well."
Arsenal are seeking forward cover following the season-ending knee injury to England international Theo Walcott.
Wenger, though, has played down suggestions a deal for Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic was imminent.
"We are open to strengthen our squad if it is possible," said Wenger.
"But I give you my phone number because if you find anyone over the weekend you can call me - we have not found anybody.
"As well we have (Nicklas) Bendtner back in the squad on Monday and (Yaya) Sanogo is back Monday week."
Arsenal's club-record signing Mesut Ozil again looked subdued against the Cottagers. Wenger, though, has no issue with the form of the German playmaker.
Wenger added: "Ozil is 25. he can only get better. The best years are coming for him now."