Pablo Zabaleta says Manchester City will go into Saturday's derby game against United in confident mood, knowing a rare win at Old Trafford could spark their title challenge back into life.

19496 - Manchester City duo eye Old Trafford win

City looked to be dropping out of the race until they beat West Brom at the weekend while United, Chelsea and Arsenal picked up one solitary point between them. Despite that win, City still sit five points off the top of the table with a game extra played.

The last time the two teams faced each other in a title race derby was in 1968 when City won 3-1 and went on to be crowned champions.

Zabaleta said: "I believe 100% we can win because we show our character when we are in games that we really need to win. We know it will be very difficult. United are very strong and are unbeaten at home, so it would be great to break that record.

"Everyone is waiting for Saturday because we know it's one of the best games to play in and enjoy.

"Before the West Brom game we knew it was a special day for us after losing to Villa and drawing at Birmingham. If we are to fight for the title we have to try to win every game.

"We have 12 games left and have to believe that if we carry on playing as we did on Saturday we have a great chance of being at the top."

Zabaleta's City team-mate, Alexander Kolarov, is confident City can still challenge for the title.

"We have had some very good results and we are not too far from United," Kolarov told the Daily Telegraph. "We are third now, so we want to try to win the Premier League, but we also have the FA Cup and the Europa League.

"We will see in the end, but we are a very strong team and we want to win things."

The Serbia international has adapted quickly to life in Manchester having joined from Italian side Lazio in the summer, and praised the city's footballing hunger.

"In Manchester, there is more humour," he said. "In Rome or in Belgrade, it is different. Here, the fans just want to win, but they don't think bad.

"The fans just want to support their teams to the maximum and this is good. I like this."

Nigel de Jong is a major doubt for the derby match with an ankle injury, with striker Mario Balotelli also doubtful with a knee problem.