Pablo Zabaleta says Man City not giving up on catching Chelsea

Pablo Zabaleta admits it will be difficult to catch Premier League leaders Chelsea but says Manchester City know how to go on winning runs in the closing stages of the season to win a title.

The Argentina international was part of the side in 2012 that trailed Manchester United by eight points with six games remaining, winning them all to claim City's first title in 44 years.

City currently trail Chelsea by 13 points and Zabaleta says they must keep winning to try to build the pressure on Antonio Conte's side.

"We have to be honest and realistic that Chelsea at the moment have been the best team in the league," he said.

"It's going to be tough but at the same time from my experience, from before, the year we won the league, we were eight points behind Manchester United in February and we kept winning games. We won the league on the last game of the season.

"We have to believe, keep working and try to improve as a team and see what happens at the end of it."

City have the chance to cut that deficit on Wednesday night with their second trip to West Ham United this year.

Pep Guardiola's side won 5-0 at the London Stadium in the FA Cup third round on Jan. 6, but Zabaleta is expecting a much tougher game in the Premier League.

"Since the last time we played West Ham away in the third round of the FA Cup I think they have improved as a team. They have momentum," the 32-year-old defender added.

"We know how tough it's going to be. They have a really good team and now for us it's a huge game to get three points and try to reduce the gap between Chelsea and us.

"We cannot drop one point because there are six teams looking for a Champions League spot next season and we cannot be out of the top four. There's a long way to go with so many games and we need to be focused on tomorrow night and go game-by-game."

Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus was not eligible for the FA Cup victory but is in contention to play against West Ham after making his first start for the club in the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Zabaleta has been impressed by his fellow South American and says he has already shown he has the toughness to succeed in the Premier League.

"He's not your typical No. 9 that we see in the Premier League who is tall and strong. His mobility, his skills, he's really good on the ball and works a lot without it," he said.

"Sometimes for a striker it's hard when you come to the Premier League, especially when you're coming from South America where the football is completely different.

"Here you can sometimes have very strong defenders who go in hard on strikers but from what I have seen of him in training sessions and also in the games he's played is that he doesn't care about that.

"He wants the ball, he tries and he'll have a fantastic time with Manchester City for sure. He's so young and it's the same with Leroy [Sane]. They are the future of this club and hopefully they can have a successful time at City."