Manchester City have ruled Sergio Aguero out of Sunday's showdown with Arsenal but hope the Argentine will be fit to face Fulham on January 19.
Manager Roberto Mancini is reluctant to gamble on the striker's fitness in case last season's 30-goal top scorer is ruled out for a longer period.
Mancini said: "Sergio is not available for Sunday. We don't want to take a risk. He continues to have treatment this week. I hope he can play against Fulham. We can't take a risk with him now. If Arsenal was the last game [of the season], OK, but like this it is impossible."
Aleksandar Kolarov has recovered from his knee injury but City are still without the injured Jack Rodwell and Micah Richards, the suspended Samir Nasri and Yaya and Kolo Toure, who are on international duty at the African Cup of Nations.
Mancini has declared that he will continue to carry on mentioning Robin van Persie after Carlos Tevez said that the manager's claim that the Dutchman had given Manchester United the advantage in the title race had motivated him.
The City manager has been critical of his strikers for not getting enough goals this season but Tevez scored against Watford while Aguero struck in both previous league games and Edin Dzeko netted twice at Norwich and once against Stoke.
"I will continue to talk about Van Persie," Mancini said. "For every striker maybe there are some moments where maybe you don't score. You don't know why but this is football. Last year we scored a lot of goals, maybe too many goals.
"This year we are missing maybe 15 goals from last year but it is important that Sergio, Carlos and Edin scored goals in the last three games. If Dzeko, Carlos, Sergio and Mario [Balotelli] continue to score, I think we can change this."
City will have a smaller away following than usual at the Emirates Stadium after the club returned 912 unsold tickets.
Their cost of £62 each has brought complaints about the pricing of tickets and Mancini regrets that many City supporters are unable to afford them.
He added: "We are disappointed for this because we need our fans away. We have fantastic fans, fantastic support. We are sorry for this."