Roberto Mancini has declared that Patrick Vieira will start against Bolton on Tuesday night so long as the French legend shows no ill-effects from his run out at Hull.
The experienced midfielder has been sidelined for the best part of a month since he arrived from Inter Milan having damaged his calf in his farewell appearance at the San Siro.
But a relieved Vieira played 29 minutes as a second half substitute at the KC Stadium and despite being booked did enough for Mancini to declare that he would be on the team sheet when the Blues attempt to get their top four bid back on track against Wanderers.
There could also be a home debut for fellow January capture Adam Johnson after he too caught the eye of the manager in a spirited second half display at the KC Stadium that came a touch too late after falling two goals behind to the Tigers.
“Patrick will start as long as he doesn’t have a reaction in his calf and there was no indication he had one immediately after the game,” stressed Mancini.
I was pleased for Patrick and for young Adam – who did very well when he came on - it was important that they got on to the pitch. They will both be important players for us for the rest of the season
It was Craig Bellamy who made way for Vieira just after the hour allowing the former Arsenal man to make his debut but the Italian has certainly not written off the Welshman who has been in sparkling form all season.
“Craig is an influential member of the team, “ he praised. “He is very strong and quick and always gives the team one hundred percent each time he plays for us.
“It’s not hard to understand why the City fans love him so much. He gives me a number of options and he has the kind of pace defenders fear. He is a vital part of my team and I’m very happy he’s here.”