League Insider - Steel yourself
Rob Parrish looks ahead to Sunday's Sheffield derby showdown between United and Wednesday.
Last Updated: 17/10/11 12:55pm
Sunday's Steel City derby at Bramall Lane will be a new experience for rival managers Danny Wilson and Gary Megson.
Megson, who made over 250 appearances as a Wednesday player before being named as the latest incumbent of the Hillsborough hot-seat in February of this year, will be experiencing the white-hot atmosphere of the city rivalry for the very first time.
And Wilson, whose Owls history as both a player and manager means he is still regarded with more than a degree of scepticism by some sections of the Blades faithful, did not come up against his current employers while in the dugout of their fierce foes.
Yet both men are completely aware of the importance of the fixture to a city still coming to terms with the fact that their teams - both of whom have graced the Premier League in the not-too-distant past - are now slugging it out in the third tier.
Work-rate and desire
Megson admitted: "It is a big thing for me because of my background - being manager of Sheffield Wednesday is a big thing for me. But as a manager, you don't really enjoy games like this.
"You just try to make sure your team approaches it in the right way. Our form will not count for nearly as much as things like work-rate and desire."
And Wilson, who had to endure protests from Blades supporters on the very day he was appointed as the new boss at Bramall Lane, is also well versed in what is at stake this weekend.
He said: "There's a great tradition and great rivalry here and I know as well as anybody having lived in the area for 25 years, so I know what the clubs mean to people of Sheffield."
Boxing Day Massacre
Sunday's high noon showdown marks the first meeting at this level of English football since the 1979-80 season, when the Bramall Lane clash finished 1-1, with the meeting at Hillsborough going down in local history as the Boxing Day Massacre after the Owls' 4-0 romp.
Wednesday enjoyed a promotion campaign that term and are well placed for a repeat this season, largely on the back of their stunning home form, which has seen them take maximum points from their opening six games - their best start in front of their own fans for 31 years.
The Blades are five points adrift of their second-placed rivals, but have the benefit of a game in hand after their scheduled meeting with Preston over the weekend was called off due to international commitments, and are just outside the group of clubs currently holding the play-off berths.
The three points on offer this weekend will not make or break the ambitions of either club for the current campaign, but they will afford one set of supporters bragging rights for the next few months until the return fixture at Hillsborough in late February.