“I think we have all been looking forward to getting the fans back,” he said before kick-off. “We missed them a lot and I think the last 18-months we realised how important fans are to our game.
“We are all pleased to see them back, and for me to play my first home game it’s something that I was looking forward to, and I’m really excited about it.
“We know the fans will be present, and this football club has a really strong history between the players and the fans. So the fans will be here making a great noise, and we just have to create a momentum and an atmosphere that will last for 95 minutes.
“We believe in ourselves, we have a really good game plan and now we just have to execute it as best as we can.”
Vieira explained the thinking behind his starting lineup, with Jeffrey Schlupp playing out wide rather than in the midfield role he occupied during pre-season.
“Jeff has played a little bit on the inside, but he’s a really good winger as well,” the manager explained. “He’s good in the one-v-ones, and we will try to go forwards strongly.
“It’s good to see Christian [Benteke] coming back after the Euros, and he’s in really good shape. We have to play off the strength of the front three we have today.”