Alexis Sanchez, Pablo Zabaleta
Old foes Alexis Sanchez and Pablo Zabaleta will renew their rivalry on Saturday.Reuters file

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta has admitted that he could be in for a very difficult day against Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, when the Citizens visit the Emirates in the Premier League on Saturday.

Sanchez, who joined the Gunners from Barcelona in a big-money move in the summer, seems to have settled down quickly at the north London club, after scoring in his last two outings against Besiktas and Leicester City.

And with the Chile international expected to start on the left of Arsenal's attack against City, Zabaleta knows needs to be at his best throughout the match.

"Sanchez is a very quick, sharp player who can play wide or as a striker, but I feel he is most dangerous when he is on the flanks. He did very well at Barcelona and he is a difficult player to face because you know you are in for a tough afternoon when you face him," the Argentine told City's official website.

"He is also works very hard for the team, especially when they don't have the ball and he has become a very important player for Chile so he is a great signing for Arsenal."

Arsenal and City met each other in the Community Shield at the Wembley last month, with the Gunners hammering Manuel Pellegrini's men 3-0.

However, Zabaleta insists that was just after preseason and City had several key players missing in that tie. The 29-year-old is confident his side can avenge that defeat and also bounce back from the shock 1-0 loss to Stoke City at the Etihad in their last league match.

"It was the first game of the campaign and the squad were not all back from the summer or 100% fit. We are much stronger than we were a month ago and we will continue to improve and get back into our stride as each game goes by," the defender pointed out.

"That said, Arsenal are a very good team and it is always a hard game at the Emirates. They have improved their squad and brought in some great players to strengthen their title bid but we are looking to bounce back after the Stoke defeat and we will go there to win three points."