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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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Zabaleta confident over fitness

Manchester City have been boosted by the news that Pablo Zabaleta expects to be available for Saturday's visit to West Ham United.

• Preview: West Ham v Man City
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City are short in the right-back area with Micah Richards and Maicon both out with injuries, but Zabaleta feels he is ready to return from the hamstring problem that has ruled him out of the last three games.

"I feel good," he told the club's official website. "I've been training with the team and I think I should be fine to play on Saturday. We have some problems in defence at the moment. We've had three full-backs injured over the past few months, so it is great to be back with the team."

Richards, who missed the start of the season with an ankle injury, sustained a knee problem during the 1-0 victory over Swansea at the weekend and is expected to be out for 16 weeks.

Zabaleta said: "It's very disappointing for Micah. He's been injured from the start of the season, then he came back and was playing well, but now he has this knee injury.

"This is a time when he has to be extra strong. Obviously it is difficult physically, but also mentally it is very tough when you are injured, you have to stay very strong."

There is also hope that Javi Garcia will be fit to play at West Ham. The former Benfica man has missed the last four games with a thigh injury and, with David Silva and Jack Rodwell also unavailable, City were forced to recall Abdul Razak from a loan spell at Charlton.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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