Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Zabaleta warns Man City over Celtic backlash

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 25 Sep 2016

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Pablo Zabaleta has told his Manchester City team-mates not to expect an easy ride against Celtic in the Champions League.

City have won 10 successive matches to kick off Pep Guardiola’s reign, one of those wins being a 4-0 thrashing of Borussia Monchengladbach in their first Group C match.

Celtic, meanwhile, were thumped 7-0 by Barcelona to open their European campaign, with Guardiola’s men strong favourites to hand them back-to-back defeats in the competition when they meet in Glasgow on Wednesday.

But following the 3-1 Premier League win over Swansea City, defender Zabaleta warned City of Celtic’s threat, saying it would be dangerous to write Brendan Rodgers’ side off.

“People are saying that Celtic are the weakest team of the group but, believe me, we know it’s going to be really hard because they’re a really strong team when they play at home,” Zabaleta was quoted by The Mirror.

“The atmosphere in Glasgow is always incredible so it’s going to be very tough. So we need to prepare well and make sure we can play in our best style of play to give ourselves the best chance of winning.

“We won’t be thinking about what happened to Celtic against Barcelona – it’s not easy to go to the Camp Nou and play against one of the greatest teams in the world, especially with the quality that Barca have at the moment.

“It was one of those days when Celtic didn’t play as well as they can and these bad days can happen in football. Put it this way: They are not the only team that have lost 7-0 in Camp Nou against Barca.

“It’s going to be a totally different game in Glasgow. I’m really looking forward to playing at Celtic Park because I have never been there before and the boys who have played there tell me the atmosphere is fantastic.

“It’s going to be tough – we know that – but the manager will prepare us like he always does.”

The match will see City take on a Celtic side which includes their on-loan winger Patrick Roberts, as well as former players Kolo Toure and Scott Sinclair.

Zabaleta added: “Patrick can really play. He’s a young player with a great talent and a great future and I am sure he will try to do his best against us.

“We know the quality that Patrick and Scott Sinclair both have – and there’s Kolo as well.”

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