Manuel Pellegrini's side sit fourth, six points behind Arsenal, but they have a golden opportunity to reduce the gap with a victory at Eastlands, where they have a 100 per cent record so far in the league this season.
It is a huge test of City's ability to regain the title they won in 2012 and Argentine defender Zabaleta believes their 3-2 win over European champions Bayern Munich on Tuesday will give them the belief to shoot down the Gunners.
"Beating Bayern was such a huge confidence boost," he said.
"There is still a long way to go in the Premier League. We want to win it back again and Saturday is a crucial game for us."
Meanwhile, City midfielder James Milner believes December will be a crucial month for their chances of winning the title again.
"There are so many games going into December, and when you look at the league table going into the month, it always looks completely different by January. So it's important that it looks a lot better than it does now for us."
City defender Micah Richards is set to miss the clash after suffering a hamstring injury against Bayern, while Matija Nastasic is also unlikely to feature as he continues to recover from a calf problem.
But former Arsenal defender Gael Clichy could return to faces his old side.