Newcastle defender Davide Santon is looking forward to Sunday afternoon's showdown with Sunderland even though he admits he was "scared" by his first taste of the rivalry.
The former Inter Milan full-back experienced the hostile North East derby atmosphere when he played for the Magpies in their 1-1 draw with Sunderland at St James' Park last season.
Santon said in the Sunday Mirror: "I didn't play in the first game last season when Newcastle won 1-0, but I played in the second one.
"It was a fantastic experience. The fans were crazy and I really enjoyed the game. I remember the managers being crazy, too, and Sunderland having two players sent off.
"But I think it's normal, because the Milan derby was similar. The difference is that here the stadium is a bit smaller, but the fans are more aggressive than in Milan.
"Here, the rivalry is more intense, more crazy. I was even a little bit scared in the first half, but I really enjoyed it."