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Pressure is on Chelsea says Zabaleta

Pablo Zabaleta believes the pressure is all on Chelsea ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup fifth round tie.

Manuel Pellegrini has hinted he may use some of the Club’s younger stars at Stamford Bridge given the Champions League clash with Dynamo Kyiv is just three days later.

If the Blues do field a younger squad, Chelsea are bound to start the game as favourites to progress to the last 16.

“It was big draw for us and will be a great game,” said Zabaleta.

“Chelsea are one of the favourites to win the FA Cup and I heard Guus Hiddink talking about this as a final so there is a lot of expectation on them to win this game.

“It is probably a final in that two of the biggest clubs are playing one another at this stage, but we will see what happens on the day.”

Pablo Zabaleta heads the ball

Zabaleta believes City will give as good as they get against the Pensioners, particularly any players who still remember the pain of the 2013 FA Cup final defeat to Wigan Athletic.

“I will never forget the year we lost the final against Wigan,” he recalled.

“Many people said a similar thing; that the semi-final against Chelsea was the final with the winner expected to go on and win the competition.

Of course, it didn’t turn out that way. After beating Chelsea in the semi we lost in the final and weren’t at our best on the day

...Zabaleta #5...


“So I think this is a huge game for us. They are a very difficult team to play and of course we need to play at 100% that game and go to it with a lot of belief and perform well.

“They are on their own ground and have been playing well so it’s one of the toughest draws we could have been given, but we are going there to beat Chelsea.

“We’ve said all season we want to try to reach the final in this competition. The FA Cup is one of those trophies that the fans and the players want to win.

“It’s a massive competition and hopefully we can play well and live to fight another day, but we are under no illusions and know how hard it is going to be.”

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