Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta is expecting Chelsea to arrive with a defensive mentality at the Etihad in their Premier League meeting tonight.
City have been unbeatable at the Etihad this season, winning every Premier League game and scoring 72 goals in 18 games on their own turf in all competitions.
And Zabalaeta admits even the bigger teams may choose to defend against them in order to prevent themselves being beaten comprehensively.
He told City’s official website: “It is hard sometimes to play against sides that come to defend. But it’s something we have to be ready for because everyone knows how strong we’ve been at the Etihad.
“Some teams may come and defend for 90 minutes but it’s up to us to figure out a way through.
“Chelsea have some good players and one of the best defensive records in the league, so we’ll need to move the ball quickly when we attack and try to break.”
And one of those good Chelsea players is Eden Hazard, who Zabaleta will tasking with keeping quiet tonight.
“He’s a great player and, as a defender, he’s someone you expect to have a difficult match against,” he admitted.
“I’ve been up against him a few times before and I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“Hazard has been one of the most impressive players around this season and he’s done really well for Chelsea.”