Cardiff have struggled for consistency following promotion to the top flight, winning just one of their last seven games.
Whittingham, who has played in five previous south Wales derbies, notes Swansea's perchance for possession football but feels Cardiff can make their opponents suffer on the counterattack.
"They pass the ball around a lot but there might be times at the weekend where we'll have to be patient," Whittingham told BBC Sport.
"We know Swansea do have a lot of possession but we need to stay calm, stay compact and disciplined. And when we do get the ball we can expose them.
Whittingham also believes the home fans will have a massive part to play as they did in the 3-2 win over Manchester City in August.
He added: "The Manchester City game was something I didn't really know could happen. I remember thinking when we went 1-0 down, we were about to kick-off and the fans went again.
"It was an unbelievable experience and we obviously got the goals after that and the whole place erupted again.
"I think it definitely can be a big factor. It's going to be a huge day and one that we hope we can win."