"It's a difficult group," Italy coach Cesare Prandelli told Sky Sport Italia. "It will be tough, but we'll be going there well prepared and determined to do well.

"You never win matches on paper, it's 11 against 11 and if we prepare well we can win all three of our matches."

Four-time champions Italy kick off their campaign against England with a late-night fixture amid expected hot and humid conditions in Manaus, in the north of Brazil.

Italy meet Costa Rica in Recife six days later before travelling to Natal to take on Uruguay in another early afternoon match.

Italy have played England a total of 24 times, winning nine and drawing seven, and have won two and drawn four of eight previous games with Uruguay.

It is Costa Rica that Prandelli said he may need to learn most about, having played, and beaten (1-0), the Central Americans only once before.

Asked who Italy's hardest opponents could be, Prandelli said: "Costa Rica, because we don't know them very well."

Prandelli, however, believes Italy's participation in the Confederations Cup in Brazil earlier this year could give them the edge over England and Costa Rica.

"The climactic conditions will be tough, but at least we might have a slight advantage in that we played the Confderations Cup," he added.

"Having 23 players fit and available to play will be crucial."

Should Italy qualify for the last 16 from Group D, they will meet one of the top two teams in Group C, which consists of Colombia, Greece, the Ivory Coast and Japan.

If successful, it would go some way to erasing the memory of a winless group campaign in South Africa in 2010, a humiliation which came only four years after Italy had beaten France on penalties to win the 2006 final.

However, Italy made a largely unexpected final appearance at Euro 2012, where they succumbed 4-0 to Spain, and despite a few bumps in qualifying Prandelli steered the Azzurri to their 18th World Cup finals with relative ease.

Nevertheless, Italy suffered a blow prior to the draw after dropping down the FIFA rankings and missing out on a place among the top seeds.

Prandelli recently hit out at FIFA's regulations, which saw teams like Switzerland and Belgium -- currently ranked eighth and 11th while Italy are seventh -- given top seeding in Friday's draw.

Russia coach Fabio Capello called it "absurd" and said: "It's amazing Italy are in this situation, they've won four World Cup titles and it's not right."

Prandelli, however, said it was time to concentrate on the job at hand.

"It's not the time to get upset about this. We're going to the World Cup, we have to embrace the challenge and do our best to advance as far as possible."