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Vieira hails City's striking options as debut looms

Manchester CITY new-boy Patrick Vieira believes the Eastlands outfit have more firepower than any other club in Europe.

Vieira is hoping to shake off a calf injury in time to make his debut against Blackburn tonight.

Although there is plenty of competition for those central midfield berths -- given manager Roberto Mancini has already stated his belief that Vieira will be a regular member of the City starting line-up -- it seems improbable he will start on the bench against Sam Allardyce's men.

But it is up front where City are at their most formidable.

Even with Emmanuel Adebayor enduring a horrific time at the African Nations Cup, Mancini still has Carlos Tevez, Craig Bellamy, Roque Santa Cruz and British record-signing Robinho to choose from.

Little wonder Vieira feels that, as an attacking force, City are inferior to no one.

"There are so many big names here," said the former Arsenal skipper.

"When you look around Europe, I don't know if any other club has five big names like that who can score goals at any time during a game.

"It gives you so much confidence when you go on to a pitch knowing you have all these players. That is what you need to win games."

If Vieira does play, it will possibly be at the expense of Nigel de Jong, while Mancini needs to make a big decision on the left-hand side of midfield, with Bellamy, Robinho and Martin Petrov all in contention.

The Italian is certainly selecting from strength given his first three games since replacing Mark Hughes have all been won, without the concession of a goal. Not that Mancini is getting carried away.

"It will be a hard match," he said. "Blackburn are a good team and their manager knows the Premier League very well."

Victory will take City into the cherished top four, which remains their aim for the season, but just seven points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

"The most important thing now is to look at it step by step," said Mancini.

"We just look at Blackburn, then Everton next Saturday.

"It is one game at a time. That is how it must be. It is important we get to our destination slowly but securely. Once we are in the top four, we will have another look."