Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ winners will be aiming to win their qualifying group for the 2014 tournament.
Only the nine group winners are guaranteed a place at the finals in Brazil, while the runners-up are not even assured a play-off spot. As one of the top seeds, Italy drew Denmark, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Armenia and Malta.
"Our main aim is to grow as a team so that we will be prepared when we face our able opponents," said Prandelli. "But we are Italy and while being cautious and showing respect for everyone, our aim is to win the group."
But with the likes of Denmark, Czech and Bulgaria in the group, Prandelli refused to be drawn on who would be their toughest challengers. "As usual if you point out one then there are always surprises," he said.
"There's still a long way to go before the World Cup qualification and so as far as I'm concerned, for now our aim is to concentrate on the qualification for the European Championships."
Italy are well placed in that competition as they lead Group C by five points from Slovenia, needing two wins from their final four matches to ensure top spot.
Italian Football Federation president Giancarlo Dondi said the main thing was to avoid the two big-guns in the second pot. "The outcome [of the draw] seems in line with our expectations," he said.
"I think it's a good draw, although we must be prudent, given that we didn't draw either of the two most dangerous teams in the second pot, Russia and France."