Durban - Sharks coach Robert du Preez believes that the Bulls are an extremely dangerous side now that they have nothing left to play for this Super Rugby season.
The sides meet in Durban on Friday as the competition resumes following the international break, but the Bulls are limping towards the finish line with no chance of making the play-offs.
They are also preparing for life without head coach Nollis Marais with John Mitchell set to take over in 2018.
Captain Adriaan Strauss spoke on Thursday about the shackles being off for the Bulls, and Du Preez acknowledges that it could make things difficult for his side.
"It's a derby and Bulls v Sharks derbies are always tough encounters," Du Preez said.
"They've got nothing to lose, which makes them very dangerous."
Du Preez also believes that the Bulls have evolved from a one-dimensional side to one that can play a number of different styles.
"They've got exciting backs and have the Springbok centre pairing in Jan Serfontein and Jesse Kriel," he said.
"They've also got a very tough pack of forwards ... that's really where we're going to need to get ascendancy.
"They will definitely run the ball if there's an opportunity. They've got the backs to run. I think we can expect a bit of a mixed bag from them."
The Sharks have already secured a play-off spot this season, but Du Preez says building momentum at this stage of the season is key.
"A win is really important because that builds confidence. Hopefully, with that, we get some momentum to take into the Lions game," he said.
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 S’bura Sithole, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sbu Nkosi, 10 Garth April, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tera Mtembu, 6 Philip van der Walt (captain), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Marius Louw
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Kefentse Mahlo, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Conraad Van Vuuren, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Pierre Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 John-Roy Jenkins, 19 Shaun Adendorff, 20 Renaldo Bothma, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Tian Schoeman