But in an apparent concession, manager Chris Wilder has revised the club's schedule to enable his squad to spend both the morning and afternoon with their friends and families.
"It's just a normal Championship week," he said. "We will prepare properly, we did last year, we came in on Christmas Day and worked. We had a fantastic result against Sunderland, so will be looking to do the same.
"They'll be in at 6pm and we'll run through some stuff then. We'll try to make it fun and enjoyable, as we always do, but it's still going to be work."
United recorded a 3-0 victory over the Wearsiders 12 months ago but, with their rivals from the North-East spiralling towards relegation, this year's Boxing Day fixture promises to be a much more arduous affair. County, managed by former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, triumphed 2-1 when the two sides met at Pride Park earlier this term although Wilder later blamed the result on individual mistakes.
With Saturday's game against Blackburn Rovers marking the second of two back to back outings on home soil, he said: "Preparation for the players will be just a normal Championship week. The way the days have fallen this year, Saturday, Wednesday and then Saturday, it's like it usually is so that shouldn't cause too many complications."