Maicon, who played in derbies in his native Brazil, as well as in Italy, knows from personal experience how victory in such encounters can change the course of a season.
"All over the world, the derby is a different game to any other," he said. "It's a passionate game, whether you're in Manchester, Milan or Brazil, and I'm sure Sunday will be just the same.
"I played for Cruzeiro against Atletico Mineiro, at a time when Mineiro were the better team. We won and it changed our whole season for the better.
"This is something built into derbies - it can give the team a boost of confidence for the rest of the season."