Santa Cruz included in City party

The Blues had to announce their party along with the rest of their

Premier League rivals on Wednesday and Santa Cruz was a surprise

inclusion given the speculation over his future during the summer.

With the big-spending Blues having a host of attacking stars at

their disposal, Santa Cruz looked set to miss out having made just

six league starts last term while Brazilian striker Jo returned

from a loan stint at Galatasaray. Lazio had hoped to agree a

season-long loan deal for the Paraguay international while former

City boss Mark Hughes expressed an interest in taking the

29-year-old striker to Fulham. But after Craig Bellamy was loaned

to Cardiff, deadline-day deals saw Robinho and Felipe Caicedo also

depart, giving Santa Cruz another chance to establish himself at

Eastlands after his £17.5million move from Blackburn last

summer. Injury-hit midfielder Michael Johnson was also selected

despite currently battling back from a cruciate knee ligament

injury. Each club must name a minimum of eight home-grown players

and Johnson’s inclusion meant that 12 of the 25 are classed as

home-grown under Premier League rules having spent at least three

seasons with a club affiliated to the FA prior to their 21st

birthday. Summer signing Mario Balotelli heads an extensive list of

players aged under 21 who are also available for selection but do

not take a place in the 25-man squad due to their age. There are no

restrictions to selection for Carling Cup and FA Cup games. Squad:

Shay Given, Joe Hart, Stuart Taylor, Jerome Boateng, Wayne Bridge,

Aleksander Kolarov, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Shaleum Logan,

Micah Richards, Kolo Toure, Pablo Zabaleta, Gareth Barry, Nigel de

Jong, Adam Johnson, Michael Johnson, James Milner, David Silva,

Yaya Toure, Patrick Vieira, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Emmanuel

Adebayor, Jo, Roque Santa Cruz, Carlos Tevez.