Zabaleta ready for Manchester derby

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta has stated that he is ready for the derby fixture against Manchester United, and admits that his side are lucky to have the chance to get back in the title race.

With Roberto Mancini’s men trailing the champions by three points, the sides meet at the Etihad Stadium on Monday in a crunch clash.

The Argentina international has admitted that his side are looking forward to the game, and must go into the fixture without fear.

“To be honest, after the Arsenal defeat I thought our chance was probably gone,” he told The Sun.

“We’ve been five points clear before so we know how it feels.

“But United losing against Wigan and dropping points against Everton shows that in football you have to believe because you never know.

“If we have another chance for the title it is because we deserve it. We kept going and we will continue to do that and see what happens.

“We know how important this game is. United are the team we want to beat — especially because it gives us a chance to go back to the top of the table.

“For the race for the title, it’s very important. That’s why it is probably one of the biggest derbies ever.

“We need to be strong mentally, focus on what we do and give it our all. We’ve got the talent and the quality — we’ve got everything.

“But the mentality and the attitude for that game has to be more then 100 per cent. If we put everything into it, with the quality we have got it can make a difference,” he concludes.

By Gareth McKnight