Lee Brown appeared in four of Pompey’s five meetings with Sunderland last season.
They were certainly eventful affairs, which included a two-legged play-off battle and cup final clash at Wembley.
Both sides ultimately missed out on promotion and were listed among the favourites to put that right this term.
And Brown believes the Blues have to welcome that level of expectation ahead of the latest Black Cats contest on Saturday.
The left-back said: “I’m sure it will be a feisty game – as it has been whenever we’ve come up against them.
“They’ll be looking to challenge up at the top end of the table as well and they’re probably under a similar amount of pressure as us to get out of this league.
“The demands are high – and so they should be. Both clubs should really be playing higher up the divisions.
"The players always get a buzz at this time of year when you’re leading up to the first league game."
“You just have to embrace all of that and it’s going to be about which side deals with that pressure the best.
“It can be a ‘six-pointer’, but it’s also important to realise it’s very early days and you don’t want to fixate on one game.”
Brown has yet to open his Pompey account in 54 appearances and was denied by the offside flag in last week’s victory over Tranmere.
He said: “It’s the longest I’ve been in my career without a goal, although I’m not too fussed if we’re winning games.
“I used to average about four a season and I don’t know what the reason is – now I know how strikers feel when they get into a rut!
“There have been some unbelievable opportunities and, for whatever reason, they’re not hitting the net.”