City are on course to achieve their goal of a Champions League place as they prepare for the home game against Everton on Monday.
"Carlos will be playing," Richards told the club's official website. "I'm sure he will be in the starting XI.
"We need him in our team if we want to achieve what we want to achieve. He's our main man and our captain.
"But if he does go there are other people. We've still got Adebayor and Balotelli and we've got Jo, who I thought had a fantastic game against Juventus.
"But Carlos is our special one and we need him in our team. We all know that."