Man City's Pablo Zabaleta claims stars are playing for FA Cup final places

Pablo Zabaleta: Eyeing place in FA Cup final team

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Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta claims players are playing for their places ahead of the FA Cup final.

City take on Wigan at Wembley on Saturday but must first negotiate a Premier League clash at home to West Brom on Tuesday evening.

With Roberto Mancini boasting plenty of options, Zabaleta believes everyone is focused on playing their way into a potential trophy-winning team at the weekend.

"We will all be playing for places at Wembley," said the Argentine full-back, quoted in the Daily Mirror.

"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."

Pablo Zabaleta

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

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

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

"It's important for the club to keep winning trophies.

"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."

Inconvenience

Mancini has admitted that the fixture against the Baggies is an inconvenience given that City are favourites to finish second in the Premier League regardless of the outcome.

The Italian has suggested that he intends to utilise his squad in order to rest key players for the Wembley final, with Yaya Toure not expected to feature after being substituted last weekend.

Asked if the preparations were ideal, Mancini said: "It would be better to have one week but we play Wigan and it is the same for them. Then we have four days to prepare.

"We need to change as we will be playing a second game in three days and we need some players to be fresh."

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