Chris Wilder believes Sheffield Wednesday are under more pressure than his Sheffield United side going into the Steel City derby on Monday evening.
The Blades are down to third following the weekend matches, but would move back above Leeds on goal difference with victory over the Owls.
Rivals Wednesday head into the game on the back of a seven-match unbeaten league run which has seen them pick up four wins and three draws.
They still harbour hopes of reaching the play-offs, and Wilder, speaking before the weekend games, told a press conference: “Regarding pressure, we are second in the division and have the chance to beat our local rivals in front of a capacity crowd live on Sky.
“There’s bigger pressures on Sheffield Wednesday. They want to go and win a game of football for their supporters, and they want to stop us going up.
“I don’t think any Sheffield football fan will have a different opinion on that.
“But we are competitive now in the city, and I think our neighbours know that.”
Jack O’Connell, who signed a new deal with United on Thursday, could return after a hamstring injury, while fellow defender John Egan should also be available after he was taken off in the win over West Brom.
Steve Bruce wants to make the game “a spectacle” in front of a TV audience.
Boss Bruce has overseen an upturn in the Owls’ fortunes since taking charge at the start of February, remaining unbeaten in his six games so far.
He told a pre-match press conference: “It’s on the night, on the occasion, who handles it best, who handles the situation better and who doesn’t make the mistake.
“Will it be won by a flash of genius or a mistake? All of those things come into effect. Let’s look forward to it.
“I always say, the whole of the country will be watching the game on Monday, let’s make it a spectacle.
“Yes, there is always going to be huge rivalry but just keep it at a huge rivalry.
“It’s all about one thing – getting a result.”
Bruce will check on defenders Morgan Fox (back) and Jordan Thorniley (concussion), but loanee Achraf Lazaar is set for a spell on the sidelines.
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