Italy coach Cesare Prandelli knows his squad will need to have the correct psychological attitude when they face compatriot Giovanni Trapattoni and the Republic of Ireland.
The two nations have been drawn together in the finals of Euro 2012 after being picked in the tricky Group C along Croatia and defending champions and World Cup winners Spain.
Trapattoni has himself admitted he would have preferred to have avoided his native Italy, but his countrymen are aware of the threat after losing a friendly to the Republic this summer.
Prandelli told Rai TV: "We didn't want to face Trapattoni for many reasons, but we want to arrive at the European Championship prepared because it's a difficult grou.
"At this moment, there are no advantages or disadvantages. We only think of arriving prepared in summer, because it's a tournament to be faced with the right mentality."
And Croatia coach Slaven Bilic believes the entire group will turn into a scrap for second behind Spain.
"Realistically, we don't only have hope, we feel a real possibility and real chances to pass the group stage," he said.
"Spain are the favourites for the tournament, I think Italy, Ireland and Croatia have equal chances to be the second team."
How far can Republic of Ireland go at Euro 2012?