Football News

Zabaleta primed for City return

Created on 01 Nov., 2012 3:49 PM GMT

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta has confirmed he is fit and ready to be involved in the match at West Ham United on Saturday.

Manager Roberto Mancini faced a defensive injury crisis ahead of the game at Upton Park, with Micah Richards, Maicon and Aleksandar Kolarov all confined to the treatment table, so the return of Argentina international Kolarov will serve as a timely boost for the club's preparations.

"I feel good, I've been training with the team and I think I should be fine to play on Saturday," Zabaleta told the club's official website.

"We have some problems in defence at the moment. We've had three full backs injured over the past few months, so it is great to be back with the team."

After recovering from hamstring problem, Zabaleta expressed his sympathy for team-mate Richards, who has been ruled out for up to four months with a meniscus tear in his right knee.

"It's very disappointing for Micah," he said.

"He's been injured from the start of the season, then he came back and was playing well, but now he has this knee injury.

"This is a time when he has to be extra strong. Obviously it is difficult physically, but also mentally it is very tough when you are injured, you have to stay very strong."

When it comes to the team's title chances, Zabaleta is confident City can defend their Premier League crown this season, despite strong competition from the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.

"It was important to win at the weekend against Swansea and to get three points," he said.

"We are only in November, I think it is too early to say who is going to win the league or to say what teams will fight for the title.

"Chelsea are doing well, so are Manchester United as well as Tottenham and ourselves, but there is a long way to go yet and everything is very tight at the top of the table.

"That is why we have to work very hard. There is a good feeling among the team about defending the title."

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