But Mallinder insists there is an identical degree of expectancy surrounding the Saints as they target making a flying start to their European campaign at Thomond Park.
Leicester are the only English club to have toppled Munster on home soil in a Heineken Cup game.
Northampton tried twice - and failed - during the 2009/10 season, losing in the pool stage and quarter-finals, and Saints' degree of difficulty has not diminished.
"There has been a step-up in training this week, and we've needed it," Mallinder said.
"The Heineken Cup games are of a higher intensity than the league, and we've got to make sure we play at that intensity when we go across to Munster.
"Munster will go into the game knowing that they can beat anybody, especially at Thomond Park, which is a fantastic arena with a terrific atmosphere.
"Winning your home games is crucial in the Heineken Cup, and Munster will be under pressure to get a result, but we're putting ourselves under the same pressure and we want the win as well.
"We are going into the game in good spirits after our recent run of results.
"Our team has a bit more experience than it has in the past, and hopefully we will be able to put the lessons of the past into practice on Saturday."
James Downey is recalled at centre for Northampton, while open-side flanker Phil Dowson makes way for England's Tom Wood.
Wood's England colleagues Ben Foden, Chris Ashton, Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes also feature in the Saints line-up, but two major Munster selection surprises see lock Donncha O'Callaghan and back-row forward Denis Leamy relegated to replacement duty.
Munster: J Murphy; D Howlett, D Barnes, L Mafi, D Hurley; R O'Gara, C Murray; W du Preez, D Varley, B Botha, D Ryan, P O'Connell (capt), P O'Mahony, N Ronan, J Coughlan.
Replacements: D Fogarty, J Ryan, J Hayes, D O'Callaghan, D Leamy, T O'Leary, I Keatley, W Chambers.
Northampton: B Foden; C Ashton, J Clarke, J Downey, V Artemyev; R Lamb, L Dickson; S Tonga'uiha, D Hartley (capt), B Mujati, C Lawes, M Sorenson, C Clark, T Wood, R Wilson.
Replacements: M Haywood, A Waller, P Doran-Jones, S Manoa, P Dowson, M Roberts, S Myler, G Pisi.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales).
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