Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann is hoping his side could benefit from Sunderland’s ‘huge expectations’.
The Black Cats have dropped five points in their last two games – both at the Stadium of Light – after drawing with Burton Albion and losing an incredible game with Coventry City 5-4.
Jack Ross’s men can keep their automatic promotion hopes in their own hands by beating Rovers in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Good Friday (5.15pm).
But, with a crowd well in excess of 30,000 expected, McCann says the pressure on Sunderland to win the game could play into Doncaster’s hands.
“The expectations up there are huge,” said McCann.
“They’ll be expected to be in the top two, I’d have thought.
“Definitely after the last two home games they’ve played – which they drew and lost – there will be expectations for them to beat us.
“Hopefully that plays into our hands.”
He added: “The boys know what to expect up there [in terms of the size of the crowd].
“It’ll show them this is what you can play in front of every week [by winning promotion to the Championship].
“We’ll go up there and soak in the atmosphere.
“Hopefully the fans will be getting on top of the Sunderland players in a bad way.”
Rovers, in sixth, have a five-point advantage over seventh-placed Peterborough United who have a game in hand.
Posh travel to Fleetwood Town on Friday and then host Sunderland on Easter Monday before Rovers welcome Accrington Stanley to the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday evening.
“It’s a big period, there’s no point in hiding behind that,” said McCann.
“If we can pick up maximum points over the Easter period, especially in the position we’re in, it would put us in a tremendous position.
“It’s a big few days for us but it’s not going to catastrophically dent our season if we don’t get a result at Sunderland.
“We’re not thinking like that. We’ve got belief in our group that we can go and deliver a very good performance.”
John Marquis is likely to be back in the starting line-up and Ben Whiteman could return to the squad after recovering from an ankle injury. Tom Anderson could feature if he comes through training on Thursday.
Lee Cattermole is fit again for Sunderland but star player Aiden McGeady is a big injury doubt.