Man City fullback Zabaleta up for clash with Spurs star Bale
City have launched the defence of the title by winning six and drawing four of their opening 10 games.
And Zabaleta said: "Bale is the one of the best wingers around - not just in the Premier League, but in the world.
"He has great pace and he has a great cross and shot.
"It's won't be just about Gareth Bale. As a defender I know that Tottenham have very good strikers and a very good team.
"I think they play better away from home because they move really quickly on the counter-attack, so it is going to be really hard for us.
"But Bale is a great player and it is a great motivation for a defender like me when you have to stop a player like him.
"It's important that we keep close to him - but that's the same with every Spurs player and not just Bale."