Rooney scored a glorious winner for Manchester United the last time the teams met in the derby.
Richards is fully aware of the threat Rooney poses, and jokingly told the Manchester Evening News: "We'll have to keep our eye on him - we won't let him do that again.
"If he tries one of those overhead kicks again then maybe I'll have to give him a little elbow this time."
It is 35 years since City lifted a major trophy and Richards feels they are better equipped than ever to end that drought.
He added: "We`ve got a good squad now, we've got players coming back and we feel we can do something this year."