The Teessiders have conceded just six times on the road this season, a defensive record matched only by leaders Brighton.
However, in winning three and drawing three of their nine away games, Pools have mustered only seven goals, the fewest in the division along with struggling Walsall.
Currently 15th, Hartlepool head south bidding to breach fortress Dean Court where seven wins and a draw have seen Cherries establish the best home record in League One.
Howe told the Daily Echo: We have had Hartlepool watched and know what they are about. They are very well organised defensively and keep it really tight. They play a certain way and stick to it. Defensively, it has worked for them and they have been excellent. They have had some good results on their travels recently.
Although they haven't scored a huge number of goals in their away games, if you don't concede, you have always got a chance of winning. They are going to be a tough nut to crack and we are fully expecting another difficult game.
There are different ways of playing and there is no right or no wrong way. It is a case of which players you have got and trying to find a formula that works for you. By no means are we going to underestimate Hartlepool and we know how difficult it is going to be.
Both Cherries and Hartlepool are set to return to action following enforced mid-season breaks of 18 days. Like Cherries, Pools' FA Cup second round clash against Yeovil has been twice postponed, as was their scheduled league match against Southampton six days ago.
Despite the weather disruption, Howe anticipates none of his walking wounded being fit enough to return to action with Shaun Cooper (calf), Ryan Garry (shin) and Marc Pugh (gashed leg) all still struggling.
Loan signing Nicholas Bignall and teenage striker Danny Ings both return to the squad having been unavailable for the postponed FA Cup tie at Notts County.