Zabaleta is currently recovering from injury and so was unable to take part in City's 3-3 aggregate loss to Sporting Lisbon on Thursday night. But he is optimistic of making a return in time for the big game next week.
With the Citizens surrendering their league lead to rivals Manchester United over last weekend, Tevez's return is being anticipated even more eagerly despite the striker's public falling out with manager Roberto Mancini in September last year.
But steps have been taken to rebuild the burned bridges between the two and Tevez recently featured in a reserve team match and Mancini had declared that he would be open to employing the services of the ex-City captain in future matches.
Zabaleta revealed that he was informed by Mancini that Tevez's return could be as soon as next week.
"Roberto has told us that he will most likely give Carlos some minutes next Wednesday against Chelsea," Zabaleta told the Sun.
"In this team, Tevez was a key player for the last two years. The final phase of the season begins now and his contribution will be vital."
With City out of the Europa League and the FA Cup, they will turn all their attention towards the Premier League where they have ten matches from which they will seek to get maxium points.
Even if they do that, they will need to rely on United, who are also out of the Europa League after losing to Athletic Bilbao on Thursday, to slip up in the title race.