Mancini’s men have proved just how tough Europe’s top competition can be this season by going out at the group stage, but the Italian believes Everton could surprise a few by qualifying.
“Last year, they were so-so, but I think Everton have started this season really well,” Mancini told the Daily Mail.
“They could end up with a Europa League place, but I actually believe they have the quality to finish fourth. They are a strong team with a strong future, so why not?
“I think (facing) Everton is difficult for everyone, for us, for Manchester United, for Chelsea. Because every game they play against a top squad, they play very, very well. Every match we play against them, we have a problem.
“I think that tomorrow will be the same. For the top team to beat Everton, it is difficult. They always play 100 per cent, and you beat them only if you play a fantastic game.”