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.