The 25-year old Italian goalkeeper joined the Black Cats from the Gunners this past summer and has since gone on to take the number one mantle at the Stadium of Light with inspired recent displays.
"This game for him should be a great day. He needs to take it as a very enjoyable day and not that he has something to prove, because then he will change the whole approach and the whole feeling during the game," said Poyet.
"I haven't talked to him, to be honest, I am trying to give the same importance as any other game to this one, no more than normal."
Mannone was given his Black Cats opportunity when Keiren Westwood was injured during the 1-0 loss at Hull on November 2.
Since the he has gone on to start the next 15 Premier League matches as well as being a key figure in the Wearside clubs run to the Capital One Cup final which takes place against Manchester City at Wembley on March 2.
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