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Thursday 21 September 2017

Pep calls on City fans to help make Zabaleta's Etihad exit memorable

Man City v West Brom Live Sky Sports 1, KO 8.00

Zabaleta has been a City player since 2008. Photo: PA Wire
Zabaleta has been a City player since 2008. Photo: PA Wire

Pep Guardiola has called on fans to roar Manchester City into the Champions League and give Pablo Zabaleta a fitting send-off.

City take on West Brom in their final home game of the season tonight looking for three points to tighten their grip on a top-four position in the Premier League. Their place in Europe's top club competition could even be confirmed if Arsenal drop points in their clash against Sunderland on the same night.

If selected, the visit of the Baggies will also mark long-serving full-back Zabaleta's final appearance at the Etihad Stadium. The Argentinian, who joined City in 2008, announced at the weekend he will move on in the summer.

City boss Guardiola said: "His impact here was amazing. He was one of the first players to come here. What he and other guys did for the club, helped (make) this club what it is right now. That is why he deserves the best last game here at home.

"Hopefully all the fans can come tomorrow to the Etihad Stadium. We play for a lot of important things, so they have to come to support us more than ever and to express the gratitude to one of the most important players in the whole history of Manchester City. It will be an important day for many reasons. One of them, of course, for Pablo."

Top scorer Sergio Aguero could return to the City starting line-up following a groin strain. Defender John Stones (groin) is also pushing to return but midfielders Fabian Delph (leg) and Ilkay Gundogan (knee), and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo (calf) are out.

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