The Croatians kicked off their league campaign on Tuesday while the Potters will play their fourth pre-season friendly against Newcastle Town on Wednesday.
But being at home - where Stoke are so formidable - in the first leg of their third-round Europa League qualifier should help balance things out according to Pennant.
"Playing them at home first will be an advantage," the midfielder told The Sentinel.
"Hopefully we can get a win at the Britannia and a nice, comfortable lead to take over there.
"They are the best team in the group of teams we could have drawn but no team likes to come to the Britannia - top teams like Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have all struggled.
"Although they will probably have a head start we've still got three games before we play them so by July 28 we'll be ready."