Chris Wilder says he expects Preston to climb the Sky Bet Championship table soon but hopes that doesn't begin on Saturday.
Speaking ahead of the Lilywhites arriving at Bramall Lane, Wilder remarked: "Preston aren't one of the big hitters in the division but they had a great campaign last year and took their season to the final game having beaten us.
"The last three or four years they've performed well and progressed, they've got an excellent team ethic, but this season things haven't gone as they'd have liked to date.
"But one result could get them up and running and they'll see Saturday as another opportunity, we would in their situation."
The manager added: "They've got a lot of experienced Championship players and that was evident when we played them at Deepdale last season, they've got a really strong squad.
"They won't haven't spent millions and their recruitment is similar to ours, it was on that day that we realised how strong they were and we've worked hard since to get to a position where we've got depth to the group.
"Preston have got an excellent young manager who has a promotion from this division to his name and we must not give them a hand in get that one result that gets them going."