Playing to impress: Stars against West Brom will earn Wembley places, claims Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta

By Colin Henrys

Tireless Manchester City star Pablo Zabaleta insists the Blues’ clash with West Bromwich Albion is crucial as players seek to earn their Wembley places.

Boss Roberto Mancini hinted at rotating a number of players for tonight’s Etihad Stadium match with City facing Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

But Argentine full-back Zabaleta urged his team mates to forget about the Wembley showdown and concentrate on gathering some momentum.

“We will all be playing for places at Wembley,” he told the Daily Mirror.

“Every single player will want to show the manager that they want to play in that game.

“Hopefully winning will give us some momentum for such an important game. Winning gives you confidence and makes you stronger.

“We want to keep winning to make sure we get second place. Then we can turn our focus to Wembley.”

Zabaleta, the only City player named in the PFA Team of the Year, scored in the winning goal in the Blues’ victory at Stoke in the FA Cup fourth round.

Although the 28-year-old Argentina international admits City’s main target for this season – defending their Premier League crown – was not met, he believes all trophy successes are key for the club.

“It’s important for the club to keep winning trophies,” he said.

“The main target for the team was to retain the title which was difficult but winning the FA Cup is always important because it is a special competition.”

Image courtesy of Manchester City, via CityTV, with thanks.

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