David Weir, the Sheffield United manager, hopes his players will be inspired by the derby atmosphere at Bradford City today.
A crowd of around 17,000 is expected to descend upon Valley Parade to watch the first league meeting between the two Yorkshire rivals since 2004.
Weir, a veteran of numerous Old Firm and Merseyside battles, said: “Big games often bring out the best in big players. It should be a great atmosphere inside the stadium but that’s something you want.
“It should serve to spur you on. You should thrive on it and use it to your advantage.
“After all, surely it’s much better to be involved in these types of occasions than ones where there’s no noise and not many people care?”
Weir represented Glasgow Rangers and Everton before taking charge of United earlier this summer.
Dismissing claims a squad peppered with young talent could buckle under the pressure of trying to mount a promotion challenge, he added: “It shouldn’t be a problem.
“We want expectations to be high because our own expectations are high. I’m comfortable with that.”
Meanwhile, Andy Gray is expected to resume full training with City next week.
The former United striker fractured a bone in his arm during a pre-season friendly at Guiseley.
Phil Parkinson, the City manager, said: “Andy is running and keeping fit, it’s just a case of getting back out with a ball in contact. He’s doing work with the ball but obviously the specialist doesn’t want him to get involved with anything physical.
“He won’t have lost much fitness in aerobic terms. He just needs to get out there and start playing some football again and it will be good to get him back and competing for a place.”
City could deploy Garry Thompson or Raffaele De Vita, previously of Swindon Town, in a more advanced role if James Hanson fails to recover from a hand injury.