Balotelli and Emmanuel Adebayor are likely to lead City's attack against Wolves tomorrow at Molineux.
Mancini said: "Mario is still not 100 per cent fit but he needs to play. He is a great player and he will be very important for us this season.
"He needs to start playing regularly for us because he has been injured since he signed for us. He had 20 minuets against Arsenal and now he must play."