Roberto Mancini is expecting nothing other than a torrid 90-minute workout for his side when Everton visit Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Since the Manchester City boss was appointed in December 2009, David Moyes has emerged victorious from all but one of the six meetings between their respective teams.
Two visits during 2010 saw the Blues take all the points, while only late goals from Mario Balotelli and James Milner prevented Everton from earning a share of the spoils last season.
“I think that Everton are difficult for every team. They are difficult for us, Manchester United and Chelsea,” said a cautious Mancini at his pre-match press conference.
“Every time they play against a top squad, they play very well. Every game we play against them, they cause us problems and I think tomorrow will be the same.
“For the top teams to beat Everton is difficult and if you beat them you have to play a fantastic game. They always play to 100 per cent.”
Tickets for Saturday’s game have all sold out, however Evertonians will be able to follow all the action and listen to live commentary on evertonfc.com.