Not that Pat Lam's men will take anything for granted against a Zebre team that recently notched a vital league win over arch-rivals Benetton Treviso. In their return meeting in Galway in round six last year the Irishmen struggled to win 25-20.
The introduction of Waikato Chiefs lock Craig Clarke has made a massive difference to the Connacht pack and his line-out work has provided the side with the perfect springboard to launch their attacking back line.
Zebre have yet to win a Heineken Cup tie in their two seasons in the tournament and will want to end a run of 10 successive defeats. They went down 33-6 at home in round two, but will arrive on the west coast of Ireland in better shape now than they were then.
The battle may be more about pride that quarter-final places, but there will still be plenty at stake with ranking points for next season to be added into the equation.
- Connacht have won all three of their meetings with Zebre in the competition, including a 33-6 win away from home in Round 2.
- Connacht have produced 30 kicks from hand per match so far this season, more than any other club in the Heineken Cup. Exeter (81%) are the only side to have a worse tackling success rate than Zebre (82%) this season.
- Connacht have made (533) and missed (95) more tackles than any other side this season.