"It is a very important game for us, we desperately want to be at home in the quarter-finals," said Howells. "Just like in Europe, you need that advantage.
"After playing two matches in the PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP against Rugby Roma this represents a different challenge but I am pleased we are not travelling and that we are playing a fellow Welsh club, a team we know something about.
"However, having coached at Cardiff, I know that they always go to Sardis Road and play with a lot of pride - and they have a pretty good record at the ground. It is a huge local derby game for both clubs."
Pontypridd cruised into Round 2 of the PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP with two crushing victories over the Italians but Howells insists there is no room for any complacency.
"We are still a little bit off from where I want us to be," he said. "We are not playing consistently well for the full 80 minutes, there are lapses in parts of our game and I want us to be firing for the full 80.
"As well as the two wins in Europe, those games also allowed us to give a few fringe players a game so that we could see what they can do - and I have to say they came through very well."
For their part, Cardiff will be out to get back to the winning ways that saw them reel off four straight Celtic League triumphs before their double Heineken Cup blows.