Barca have a 100% record against City in the Champions League - albeit in the knock-out stages rather than group - and the La Liga come into the match after a 4-0 win over Deportivo at the weekend.
Argentinian full back Zabaleta is confident that under new boss Pep Guardiola City are capable of leaving Catalonia with the points, however difficult that may be.
“I think Barca have been dominating Europe for so many years, they have experience and they have four or five of best players in the world in different positions,” Zabaleta said, before adding, “You need to perform at the same level (as them), you cannot make mistakes and you must take opportunities.
“You need a perfect game to beat Barcelona, that is the key.
“You don’t win here easily, there will be moments you will suffer - hopefully not too much.”
City are three games without a win in all competitions but still sit on top of the Premier League and have produced some spellbinding football this season.
Zabaleta added: “We’ve got a new manager with a new style of play.
“We played a few times against Barca and always we couldn’t beat them, but always there’s a chance with a new manager.
“At the moment we’ve been playing good football and we’re coming here to play our style, not to change anything because they are great... not that we don’t have respect. But we will try and play the game to win.”