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Pep: Zabaleta can play Fernandinho role

LATIN LESSONS: Zabaleta filed in for Ferna versus Celtic

LATIN LESSONS: Zabaleta filed in for Ferna versus Celtic

Pep Guardiola believes that Pablo Zabaleta can play a more central role for City when the occasion demands.

The Argentina defender played as a holding midfielder against Celtic and pushed Kelechi Iheanacho close for star man honours, almost assisting two goals for the Nigerian.

It’s a position Guardiola feels Zabaleta may play in more often in years to come.

When asked if the Blues will miss Fernandinho over the next few weeks, Pep said: “Yes he’s a key player for us - he’s a real player and he can play in several positions so of course, we will miss him.

“But I think Pablo Zabaleta can play in the middle – he is very experienced and he can play there as he did very well against Celtic.

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“I think in the last years of his career he’ll play more in the middle and it gives us another option.”

Zaba added he will play wherever and whenever he is asked to, saying: “The manager wanted to give minutes to players who hadn’t featured in recent games and we also missed some midfielders so I had to do that job. It went very well, I’m happy. You always have to do what the manager asks.

“I try to be able to play whenever the manager needs me and I have to do the job and I always try to give my best.

“I feel fine, we are a big squad and the manager is making changes in different games and it’s important to be ready at any given moment.”

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First Team News

Leicester v Man City: Guardiola delivers team news

MAKING HIS POINT: Pep Guardiola at the pre- Leicester press conference

Pep Guardiola is confident Raheem Sterling will be fit to come back into the squad to face Leicester City.

England winger Sterling hasn’t played since the win over Burnley, but trained successfully with the squad on Thursday and should make the game.

First Team News

Caballero: Leicester trip is a huge occasion

CABALLERO: City's Argentinian goalkeeper performed well in Tuesday's draw with Celtic

Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero believes this weekend’s trip to Leicester is a huge occasion for the club.

The Blues have dropped to fourth in the Premier League table after last weekend’s defeat at home to Chelsea, leaving them in need of a positive result at the King Power Stadium to keep the pressure on the leaders going into the Christmas period.

Media Watch

Vieira thanks Pep Guardiola for coaching support

OLD FRIENDS: Patrick Vieira catches up

New York City boss Patrick Vieira has thanked Pep Guardiola for the help the Catalan has given him as the French legend makes his way in the managerial world.

Vieira, City’s EDS coach until December 2015, spent a week at the City Football Academy in November and believes the experience has only improved him as a coach.