The Italian side's four-game winning run in all tournaments came to an end last weekend at the hands of Gloucester Rugby but they ran the European Rugby Challenge Cup champions close, eventually losing 14-11.
They won the back-to-back fixtures against Benetton Treviso over the holiday period but have never won three GUINNESS PRO12 matches in succession - and Munster stand between Zebre and that achievement this weekend.
"Munster are an experienced team and the runners-up of last season's GUINNESS PRO12," said De Rossi. "They know how to win games without dominating possession.
"We worked well during the training week and despite having several players missing, we will field the best Zebre team possible.
"As we have said yet, we'll face two very important months both for the players available but also to test the real work on the depth of the squad since the beginning of the season.
"On Saturday against Gloucester we were very pleased to see the Stadio Lanfranchi really busy, we want to continue to deserve the support of our fans with our good performances."
Michele Visentin and Emiliano Caffini make their first starts of the season, at left wing and blindside flanker respectively, while Kelly Haimona takes the reins at fly-half.
Munster, meanwhile, make eight changes to the side that beat Benetton Treviso last time out, with Darren Sweetnam set to make his first competitive start on the wing.
There are five changes in the pack and three in the backs, while Dave O'Callaghan returns from injury to take his place on the replacements bench.
Munster's only loss in their last four matches was a 27-7 reversal at Stade Français in the Champions Cup, while they have won their last nine fixtures against Italian opponents in all tournaments.
The two sides have met on six previous occasions, with Munster winning all six and Zebre gaining just one losing bonus point - at Parma in May 2013.
Munster are without a handful of international players - not unlike their hosts - but Ronan O'Mahony, who starts on the left wing, insists those waiting in the wings are desperate to make an impression.
"There are a handful of boys in the Ireland camp and the opportunity is there for the lads this weekend, as there will be in the next six or seven weeks," said O'Mahony.
"Everyone who hasn't been getting a chance until now is eager to grab the opportunity with both hands.
"Zebre are very physical with great continuity around their lineout - a very direct team. We have got to be on our toes, especially in defence, and hopefully get another win."
At Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, 3pm local time (2pm Ireland & UK) Live on RAI Sport/TG4
Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU, 56th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Elia Rizzo, Filippo Bertelli (both FIR)
Citing Commissioner: Marco Cordelli (FIR)
TMO: Alan Falzone (FIR)
1st Floor Simmonscourt House
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland