Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta knows they have a target on their backs as defending champions.

Zabaleta, however, is confident they can handle the extra expectations.

"We are back fresh and mentally ready to defend the title," Zabaleta told City's website.

"Everyone will want to beat us. There is more pressure than before because we are the champions. It is a very good challenge for us.

"We are looking forward to it and we are very positive about our chances. When you see the squad we have got then there is every reason to feel that way."

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