Richards admits the Blues have made a slow start to their Champions League campaign, but expects things to ratchet up a notch on the final three group matches.
"We'd obviously rather be going to Villarreal with more points on the board but it's not the end of the world," Richards told City's website.
"We will go into the game in great confidence and look to win the game - if we do, it could put a completely different complexion on the group.
"It could work in our favour that Villarreal need to win because they will have to come at us which will give us the opportunity to do our stuff on the counter attack.
"In both our home games in the Champions League we found it hard to break down the opposition because they put so many men behind the ball, but I can't see that happening in the away games.
"I hear Villarreal have lost Giuseppe Rossi through injury, too. I'm gutted for him because he's a great player and you don't want to see any fellow pro out for several months, but it also makes it harder for them because he's become their talisman."