Pablo Zabaleta: 'We must be perfect to stop Angel di Maria'

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta believes that his side will have to have a "perfect day" to stop Angel di Maria in the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta has warned his teammates that they will have to be "perfect" to stop the threat of Angel di Maria in the Manchester derby.

Manuel Pellegrini's side face Manchester United on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium, and Zabaleta has admitted that he knows the difficulty of the task that awaits him against his Argentina teammate.

Zabaleta told The Mirror: "He's a really good player. He's fast, quick, has a great technique, he's one of those players defenders find really difficult to play against.

"You need the perfect day to stop players like him. He plays on the left, so will I try to play as good as I can.

"We've known each other for many years. I was so happy when he signed for United because it was something good for him. He was really excited to come here and play in the Premier League."

City are third in the Premier League ahead of their clash with Louis van Gaal's side.

Who will win the Manchester derby?

Manchester City
Manchester United
Manchester City
23.4%
Manchester United
76.6%
Manchester City's Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini watches the action during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Manchester City at Upton Park in London on February 11, 2014
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool24138354292547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2455141535-2020
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