And O'Connell, who led Munster to European glory in 2008, expects a highly-charged encounter at the Municipal Stadium.
"Obviously, we went to Toulon this year and struggled," said O'Connell, whose men were beaten 32-16 at the Stade Felix Mayol.
"The atmosphere they have there will be very similar down in Brive. It promises to be a great occasion.
"The Amlin is a consolation for us. It would very tough for us watching Ulster and Leinster competing in the Heineken Cup with us just sitting on the sidelines so to have the Amlin is brilliant.
"There are some great teams in it and it promises to be a very tough challenge in Brive."
Munster have a fascinating history when facing French sides away from home, with some of their greatest successes and most painful defeats coming against Top 14 teams.
O'Connell and co's most recent Heineken Cup dream was brought to an end by RC Toulon in January, while their previous campaign was halted by Biarritz - the second time the Basque outfit had come out on top in the knockout stages.
They have previously been conquered by Colomiers, Stade Francais and Toulouse in the quarter or semi finals but all three of the aforementioned sides have been accounted for over the years.
Like Colomiers, Perpignan have been beaten in France during previous group stages, while Stade, Castres, Biarritz and Toulouse have all been toppled away from home in either the last four or last eight.
Throw in their 2006 and 2008 Heineken Cup Final triumphs over those latter two teams at neutral venues and Munster boast a record few can match against the best France has to offer.
But while history could play a minor psychological part in a fortnight's time, it is the performance on the day that will be the deciding factor.
Munster hope to head to France on the back of two massive wins, the first having come at Cardiff Blues last Friday, with the second hopefully arriving against Heineken Cup semi-finalists Leinster this weekend.
And while the margin of the victory over the Blues was just a single point, the scoreline flattered the hosts and the performance given by Munster was at times hugely impressive.
"The first 30 minutes were as good as we've played in a long time," added O'Connell.
"It's a question of putting that together now for 80 minutes. That 30 minutes needs to be our standard for the full game."