The former Charlton boss believes the Stadium of Light outfit have good players at their disposal but acknowledges the pressure is on Gus Poyet's side after a poor start
The 52-year-old will take his side to the Stadium of Light at the weekend looking to build on victory over Cardiff and a draw against Liverpool.
Pardew is expecting a tough game on Sunday, despite Sunderland's poor form - including a heavy defeat to Swansea in Gus Poyet's first game in charge - and is eager to put his club's bitter rivals in a "difficult position."
"They've only got one point so it's a lot of pressure on them but I think they've got good players," he told reporters ahead of the game.
"It's always difficult at the Stadium of Light, even the two games I've seen I thought they did okay. They were a little bit unfortunate, certainly not to beat Fulham on the opening day.
"So they've got good players and they've definitely got the standard to stay up. If we can win we can put them in a difficult position but obviously that's what we want to do - win for ourselves."
On Thursday, Poyet identified the derby clash against Newcastle as a must-win game for his side as they look to record their first win of the season and their only points since a home draw against Southampton.