Fabio Borini says the north east derby between Sunderland and Newcastle is "a lot better" than the rivalry shared by Liverpool and Everton.
The Italian will be hoping to extend his fine goalscoring record against the Magpies this weekend, but he insists there is no question in his mind where it ranks among English derbies he has experienced.
"I think it's a lot better [than Merseyside]" said the 24-year-old.
"In Liverpool, the two clubs are kind of friends as a club because they help each other out and they were brought together by the tragedy of Hillsborough.
"I know people who are in the same family who support Everton and Liverpool, which doesn't happen here.
"If you support Sunderland you support Sunderland, if you support Newcastle you support Newcastle.
"It's a totally different atmosphere. Here, it's a lot louder!
"In Rome you can't go out in the week before [the derby against Lazio], you can't stop and talk to fans because you know you're going to get into a dangerous situation.
"Here, that doesn't happen, but you're still focusing and you take the game as a different game.
"That's why in these games there is more energy and more passion because you get that feeling inside from the fans that just gets to you."