Pablo Zabaleta has been talking ahead of Newcastle United’s visit to the Etihad.

The Manchester City defender was very complimentary about the club and the fans, saying that it is his favourite away trip of the season, with it no doubt helping that Zabaleta has won every time he has visited St James Park.

The Argentine defender says he is surprised that Newcastle ar struggling this season and that it is ‘a real shame’.

Zabaleta says that he still keeps in touch with both Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez, who he knows from the national team.

However, the Argentine defender gets a little confused when looking back through Newcastle’s recent history, giving Alan Pardew credit for United being promoted in 2010.

After two Premier League defeats against West Ham and Tottenham, Zabaleta concedes that Man City desperately need a result themselves to get back on track.

Pablo Zabaleta talking to the Manchester City official website:

“I’m very surprised to see Newcastle where they are because of the experience they had towards the end of last season. After that situation, you expect to bring in new players – which has happened – but the results haven’t been good so far, though there was a definite improvement against Chelsea last weekend.

“It’s not my club, but for me it is a real shame to see them in that situation. Newcastle is a club that has a fantastic stadium and great supporters who fill their ground every week. St James’ Park is a place I love to play at and probably the away ground I look forward to playing at the most each season.

“They went down the first season I came to England but came back up again under Alan Pardew and have done OK since, but they have a new coach now and there is a long way to go so there is time for them to improve and climb the table.

“It doesn’t change me wanting to beat them on Saturday, though. We need a good result ourselves and we have to start winning games again and need to build on our win over Borussia.”

“I speak to Fabricio on the phone sometimes and Jonas Gutierrez as well because we were all in the national side together and we know each other well.

“He is the captain and has been at Newcastle as long as I have been at City and he is taking responsibility for the situation because he is the captain and believes it is the right thing to do, but I wish him only good things and hope everything turns out well for him.”