Men's Team

Pablo prepared for Merseyside battle

Pablo Zabaleta says City’s defence will need to be on high alert when dealing with Everton’s danger men this weekend.

Following their FA Cup defeat at the hands of Wigan on Sunday, the Blues’ stand-in skipper expects David Moyes’ side will be seeking an immediate response on Saturday.

“Everton away is always very tough,” he said. “It’s a game that they always want to win and it is going to be hard for us. They will be hungry too, after they lost to Wigan last weekend.

“But we are aware that we need to get three points and keep winning games for our own reasons, so we know what we have to do before we leave for the international break.”

Pablo Zabaleta

Despite their FA Cup exit, the Toffees have suffered just one league defeat on home turf so far this season and with players like Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic leading their forward line, Zabaleta says the Blues must hit the ground running.

“Fellaini is very good and a very tall player, so he can be difficult to deal with,” he admitted.

“They play a lot of long balls and they are very strong in set pieces. Their full backs overlap a lot, especially Leighton Baines on the left side and he can deliver the ball very well.

“So, defensively we have to be very organised and fight for every ball and with the quality we have we need to create and take our chances when they come along.


We’re under pressure now because we need to win every game - if we drop points it is just not good enough anymore - but we just have to keep working hard and believe.


...Pablo Zabaleta...


After the trip to Merseyside, Zabaleta will fly home to represent his native Argentina who are still celebrating the appointment of Pope Francis I.

Pablo admitted the nomination of the first Pope from the Americas is a source of great pride for the Argentine people.

“It was a big surprise!” he exclaimed. “It’s massive for Argentina – everyone has been talking about it at home and people have been texting me about it, too.

“In Argentina, 95% of the population are Catholic and that’s why it’s great for the country.

“I also saw some pictures of the Pope with a San Lorenzo shirt, which is the team I used to play for in Argentina, so that is good!

“I never met him in San Lorenzo before - maybe he was at some games, I don’t know.

“But this is great for San Lorenzo fans, to see a picture of him with a shirt is great for them! To have a football-loving Pope is fantastic. Maybe I will need to go to The Vatican to find him!”


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