Everton's Barkley wary of buoyant Black Cats
Roberto Martinez's side make the Premier League trip hoping to continue a run that has seen them go five games unbeaten in all competitions, conceding just one goal.
However, they face a Sunderland side who have returned to form themselves following a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace that dragged them out of the relegation zone.
England International Barkley will be hoping to feature on Sunday, having made his comeback from injury in the 3-0 win against Aston Villa in mid-October.
And the 20-year-old acknowledges his side are in for a tough test.
Speaking to Everton TV, he said: "They should have a bit of confidence because they've got good players in the team and they're a big club but at the end of the day we've got to step up and hopefully get the three points
"It always is [difficult]. I've been down there a few times and the crowd gets at you. They've got a good atmosphere and it's always a tough game at the Stadium of Light."
Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell is in line to face his former club and Barkley believes his one-time club colleague's transfer from Manchester City has been good for his career.
"I used to look up to Jack when I was younger because he broke in to the first team when he was young and I know him well," Barkley added.
"I see it as a good move because he needs to go and get games. He's got the talent he just needs to get the games to show everyone what he can do."