The Gunners fell a point behind Manuel Pellegrini’s men after their 2-2 draw at Southampton was followed up by City’s 5-1 thrashing of Tottenham in midweek.
The German international says he is expecting a tough challenge from their London rivals but feels they need to respond to last week’s draw.
“We played Palace away [in October] and at that stage they seemed not too bad, still lively but we took the points,” he told Arsenal’s official website. “Under Tony Pulis now they have really woken up and look a lot sharper than before.
“We need to respect that but we are at home and need to respond after the draw against Southampton. It is up to us to have a good reaction to show everyone that we maybe dropped two points but have recovered quickly.”
“We need to put Man City under pressure, they have a big game on Monday and we are looking forward to getting the three points.”
“February could be the season-defining month with a lot of crucial games coming up. [We have] big clashes against Liverpool in the FA Cup, against Bayern Munich and big games in the Premier League.”
“So February is going to be the crucial month of this season in defining how we do.”
The match against Palace is an important match as it will be followed by some big games to come in the next few weeks. Their form has improved under Tony Pulis, but Arsenal need to win if they are to maintain their challenge for the Premier League title.
A victory will take the Gunners back to the top of the Premier League table and will keep up the pressure on Man City who host Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Monday night.
Can Arsenal get back on top this weekend?