Pablo Zabaleta will miss Argentina's upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers with Peru and Uruguay through injury.

The Manchester City defender suffered a hamstring injury in Monday's 1-1 draw with Aston Villa and has been ruled out of the crucial qualifiers on Saturday and the following Wednesday.

"It is not a major injury, but I am not likely to be able to play. Sometimes, it is down to luck," Zabaleta told Ole newspaper. "I usually don't have these problems, but it is frustrating for me. There is nothing I can do."

Maradona, who is not expected to call up a replacement for Zabaleta, is reportedly unhappy with City coach Mark Hughes for fielding Zabaleta and compatriot Carlos Tevez in Monday's game, feeling the duo should have instead linked up with the national squad that day.

But Zabaleta claimed Hughes was within his rights to play Tevez and himself. He said: "The national team staff did their best, but the club wanted Tevez and I to play and we had to. There was nothing we could do."