Bruce and Brown are the only two men to have managed Hull in the top flight, the latter having taken the Tigers up for the first time in 2008.
Despite staving off relegation for a season, Brown was sacked the following year as the club unsuccessfully tried to avert the drop in their second campaign.
And while Hull eventually found their way back to the top table with Bruce, Brown has been forced to drop down to the fourth tier where his Shrimpers side are currently in the play-off places.
A fourth-round victory over his former employers at Roots Hall on Saturday would be a considerable prize for the Southend boss, but Bruce is on his guard.
"It's got a little edge to it with the former manager being the manager of Southend and, of course he'll be desperate to turn us over which is normal for a smaller club in a lower division," said Bruce.
"It's got the classic symptoms (of a cup upset), so we've got to make sure we treat it like we did against Middlesbrough last time and produce a performance to get us through to the next round.
"Phil's done a terrific job down there, got them knocking around at the top end of the division and you can't ask for any more than that.
"What would put the icing on the the cake for him is to turn us over and we've got to guard against that and make sure it doesn't happen.
"All the cameras, all the people who go to the game and the all the people in the country will want the underdogs to win, which is normal.
"We've seen over the years all the shocks and surprises, that's what makes the competition it is, but we've got to make sure we're not one of those shocks and surprises."
Despite those sentiments, Bruce has no intention of changing his policy of rotation for the match.
He has made major changes for all cup fixtures this season and will do so again, with the suspended Tom Huddlestone likely to be joined on the sidelines by fellow regulars such as Jake Livermore, Curtis Davies and Allan McGregor.
Up front, costly newcomers Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long are cup-tied meaning Yannick Sagbo and Matty Fryatt could get the chance to jostle for position in the pecking order.
Jack Hobbs has been recalled from his season-long loan at Nottingham Forest - apparently scuppering a transfer that would have netted Hull close to £1million - but is cup-tied, meaning Paul McShane will return from ankle trouble to take on the man who brought him to the KC Stadium.
"Phil was very good to me and I'm looking forward to seeing him, but hopefully we can beat him," McShane told Tigers Player.
"They're flying high in their division and winning games so there's a bit of confidence there. They'll be looking to knock us out of the cup and it's going to be a tricky game."