City went out to West Brom at the same stage last season and have more competition from the West Midlands in the third round this time in the shape of Birmingham.
City's chief football operations officer Brian Marwood has insisted the club will go all out for all four trophies and manager Roberto Mancini, who fielded a very young side last year, is likely instead to select a starting line-up made up of those senior players who have not featured much or at all this season.
Owen Hargreaves and Kolo Toure are likely to be among those who will start against Birmingham.
Richards, one of those who may be rested, told the club's website: "Last year we took it a bit lightly. I think this year we want to do something and there are a lot of quality players who weren't involved at the weekend who will be looking to get a start.
"We believe in our squad and are confident we can go through."
Marwood has insisted that the club have built a squad capable of mounting a challenge for all four trophies.
He said: "The Carling Cup is an important competition for us, there is a European place on offer, there is the potential to go back to Wembley again.
"One of the reasons why we have built the squad in the way that we have done is to try to be competitive in every competition that we play in."
Mancini said he will change "seven or eight players" from the side who drew at Fulham but that any youngsters are likely to be on the bench rather than in the starting line-up.
That means the likes of Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson, who have not played as much as they would have wanted in the league, are likely to start.
Mancini said: "I will change many players because we need to rest some. I will change seven or eight players but we want to get through to the next round.
"We know that last year against West Brom we had a chance and we lost so it's very important that we play well."
Nigel de Jong (foot) is still out but James Milner, who missed last week's draw with Fulham after a clash of heads, could return.