Bristol are the only English club involved in European competition on Friday night as they look to build Challenge Cup momentum by toppling Brive.
The Gallagher Premiership leaders maintained their strong domestic form by flattening Zebre 59-21 in their Pool Four opener but Brive are more dangerous opponents than the underpowered Italians.
“It’s a massive game because with all teams fighting on both sides, us getting a win over there would be huge for our ambition,” director of rugby Pat Lam said.
“Not only do we want to win our group but also get a home quarter-final and a home semi-final.
“I’ve made no secret of the fact that I wasn’t happy with how we played against Zebre, but I’ve been so pleased with the training we’ve had since.
“It’s been superb and guys have been on the money as far as attitude goes.”
Steven Luatua recovers from a hip injury to lead Bristol, while the return of former England lock Dave Attwood is also one of eight changes made for the trip to Stade Amedee-Domenech.
In the solitary Champions Cup match, Ulster host Clermont at Kingspan Stadium.