The two sides have not met in the top flight of English football since 1965, although Rovers have won five and drawn one of their last six encounters in a spell dating back to 1982.
Squad members not involved in international duty have spent some time in a training camp in Spain and also played in a fundraiser for financially-troubled club Accrington.
After such a long break a win is always a priority but it is particularly important to Rovers this weekend, with McDonald revealing the club's foreign contingent have been fully briefed on the significance of the fixture.
"We haven't played since Arsenal (a 6-2 defeat) but everyone is fit and we are really looking forward to the big game on Sunday," the assistant boss told Rovers Player. "We will be well prepared and well up for it. All the players know what it is about and what it means to the fans.
"When the fixtures came out a lot of the [foreign] players were asking which the derby games were so we've explained that. Without a shadow of a doubt it is all about winning. Whether you play good, bad or indifferent, if you win that is all that matters."