Argentine star warns Arsenal of 'much stronger' Manchester City

Quaresma and Zabaleta Portugal Argentina

Pablo Zabaleta is confident ahead of Manchester City's trip to the Emirates Stadium.

Pablo Zabaleta has sent a message to Arsenal ahead of their Premier League clash on Saturday, warning the Gunners that they will face a different Manchester City to the team beaten in this year's Community Shield.

Arsenal ran out comfortable 3-0 victors when the two clubs met in the Premier League's traditional curtain-raiser in August, as the champions fielded a side weakened through a number of injuries.

Now close to full strength, Zabaleta believes City will pose much more of a threat to the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium.

"It was the first game of the campaign and the squad were not all back from the summer or 100% fit," he told the club's website.

"We are much stronger than we were a month ago and we will continue to improve and get back into our stride as each game goes by.

"That said, Arsenal are a very good team and it is always a hard game at the Emirates.

"They have improved their squad and brought in some great players to strengthen their title bid but we are looking to bounce back after the Stoke defeat and we will go there to win three points."

One man that Zabaleta is particularly wary of is Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal's big-money summer signing from Barcelona. The Chilean is likely to start the game on the right wing but will inevitably switch flanks throughout the game, meaning he will face Zabaleta directly.

"Sanchez is a very quick, sharp player who can play wide or as a striker but I feel he is most dangerous when he is on the flanks," the Argentine said.

"He did very well at Barcelona and he is a difficult player to face because you know you are in for a tough afternoon when you face him.

"He is also works very hard for the team, especially when they don’t have the ball and he has become a very important player for Chile so he is a great signing for Arsenal."

Zabaleta suffered an injury in Argentina's 4-2 victory over Germany last week after a tough tackle from Arsenal's Lukas Podolski. The full-back is confident, however, that he can shake off the knock in time for Saturday's clash.

"It was a hard tackle and I still have some discomfort but it’s getting better each day," he said. "I’ve been doing some running on my own earlier in the week but I'll be fine for the game.

"I still have a couple more days before we play and by then I should be fully fit."

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