City host the Spanish champions in their first leg of their last 16 tie on Tuesday, and Argentina international Zabaleta believes it is crucial for his side to make the most of home advantage ahead of their trip to Camp Nou next month.
The Premier League title challengers have scored 74 goals in just 20 home games in all competitions this season, and Zabaleta feels they can put themselves in a commanding position against a team that have reached the Champions League semi-finals for the last six seasons in a row.
"We need to believe in ourselves that we have a great team, great players to win big games," the full-back told Sky Sports.
"We know how important it is to win big games and of course it's a big challenge for us because when you play against the best you see where you are.
"We must be solid, we know Barcelona have got important players in the front with Pedro, Neymar and (Lionel) Messi.
"All of them are fantastic players so the back four should be ready for that game and also the team.
"We need to be ready to defend well, be a compact team and then obviously score goals because playing at home we need to score as many goals as we can for the second leg."
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