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Zabaleta: City aiming for trophy haul

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta revealed that the club are aiming “to win all four competitions” on the eve of their clash with Chelsea.

• Mooney: Draw from Stamford Bridge would be acceptable
• Worrall: Mourinho factor to give Chelsea the edge over City
• Delaney: The odd couple

City have had a steady start to the season, currently sitting in sixth position in the Premier League while they sit second behind Bayern Munich in Group D in the Champions League.

But Zabaleta said it was not only the major domestic and European competitions that were on the club’s radar.

“The manager told us that this time we must aim to win all four ­competitions,” Zabaleta told the Mirror.

“The Premier League and the Champions League are the most important options for every team, but he is also serious about winning the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup. It’s what you should be aiming for when you want to be the best.

“The manager always tells us that we have the squad to challenge in everything and that he will always try to put a strong team to win every game.

“Last season hurt us. We finished second to United and lost the FA Cup Final and this club cannot accept silver medals.

“That experience has made us more focused, I think.”

And the Argentina international believes City boss Manuel Pellegrini has built a squad capable of fulfilling the City manager’s lofty ambitions.

“We have a better squad now than when we won the title in 2012,” Zabaleta said. “Some big players have left, but some big players have arrived. It feels now like we have at least two top players for every single ­position in the team. I think the balance we have is very good.

“The manager has a lot of options. The new signings have all brought something different. Negredo, Navas and Fernandinho have settled in very quickly and have already had a big impact. Jovetic and Demichelis haven’t played a lot of games yet, but they will get their chance.”

Next in line on City’s conquest of silverware – Chelsea - is a major rival for all four trophies, and Zabaleta acknowledged Sunday’s game could have a major influence on both clubs’ chances this season.

“Chelsea is now a huge game for both teams,” he said.

“We had a good record against them last season, but that will mean nothing this time because Jose Mourinho is back.

“I think there will be a group of teams fighting to the end this time.

“It’s more competitive this year than I can remember. Arsenal have started very well. There are also ourselves, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool... and we won’t be forgetting about Manchester United.”

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