Zabaleta: Manchester City's Argentine contingent hoping to lead title charge

The versatile defender has fired a warning to the club's rivals that his compatriots are ready to fire again and challenge for back-to-back Premier League triumphs

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta believes that the club's Argentine contingent can help the team to win back-to-back Premier League titles.

Despite the future of striker Carlos Tevez having been uncertain, Zabaleta has dismissed speculation by insisting that he and Sergio Aguero have returned to pre-season training elated after recieving a hero's welcome in their home country.

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Speaking of last season's dramatic title win, Zabaleta told The Sun: "We made people happy back there. It was special for the whole country because we had three Argentines in the squad - three amigos."

Roberto Mancini's men are currently in Austria for a training camp, where the Italian will be preparing his playing squad for the new season with the challenge of defending their maiden Premier League crown.

Zabaleta added: "You can see people are happy and very focused on training.

"Hopefully, we can do the same as we did last season. We have more pressure on us now because we are the champions but it’s a good challenge."

City have a pre-season fixture against Arsenal and a Community Shield showdown with FA Cup winners Chelsea to contend with before the new campaign kicks off.