Mark Hughes believes some teams are already beaten before they even step out onto the Old Trafford pitch - but the Blues boss is confident his team will stand firm against the fear factor on Sunday.
The former Manchester United striker has seen the tell-tale signs in the eyes and body language of European sides as well as Premier League opponents of Sir Alex Ferguson's European and domestic champions.
The nominations list for the PFA Player of the Year, with four of winner Ryan Giggs' team-mates also in contention, only added to the notion that there is a certain awe at the prospect of facing United.
Hughes, never intimidated as a player or a manager, said: "Sometimes teams seem beaten before the game. You look at the teams going there, and sometimes you see them in the tunnel and you think that it's not going to be an easy time for them this afternoon.
"Even in Europe, you sense that some of the teams are actually beaten before they get there, and I'm sure it happens in the Premier League as well. You have to go with a belief that you can perform well as a team.
"I certainly don't see that being a problem at the weekend because we are playing with confidence in every game - we are strong, and that's reassuring for everybody. We know we can cope with the intensity of the game.
"There are many elements that come together to get a good result, and they all have to come together when you play one of the top sides. The confidence comes from winning and knowing you can stand up to the challenge. I think we are at that point now."