Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll warned there was no prospect of Italy self-destructing for a second time as the Azzurri attempt to silence their critics.
The Italian media have turned on Nick Mallett's side after their error-strewn display at Twickenham last weekend gifted England victory on a plate.
Smarting at the 36-11 defeat, Italy are determined to ignite their RBS 6 Nations challenge when they clash with Ireland at the Stadio Flaminio tomorrow.
They start as heavy underdogs with Ireland buoyant following their rousing triumph against France, but O'Driscoll is convinced the Italians will be desperate to atone for their Twickenham horror-show.
“It's good motivation for any team, not only the criticism they might be taking in the media but also coming off the back of a defeat,” he said.
“They know they need to up their performance to make sure it doesn't happen again and on top of that you can use the media to your benefit.
“The Italy we saw against England wasn't the Italy we've come to expect over the years.
“They gifted England 17 points and it's a long way back for any team that does that.
“I imagine they'll be playing their normal game tomorrow - hard, physical rugby - which will make them very difficult to beat.
“We don't think that if we play well we'll win, we're not arrogant enough to think that. But we're a difficult team to beat.”
Italy will be more formidable opposition with Mauro Bergamasco restored at flanker following last week's calamitous experiment of playing him at scrum-half.
Paul Griffen fills the number nine jersey in what is regarded as the Azzurri's strongest side, allowing for injuries to fly-half Andrea Marcato and second row Marco Bortolami.
Despite scaling the heights against France in a clinical victory which was lit up by some dazzling play, Ireland have furiously played down any notion of putting Italy to the sword.
Typically, head coach Declan Kidney has led the campaign against complacency by showering the Azzurri with compliments.
“Our games with Italy have grown much closer over the years and I wouldn't be surprised if it's a one-score game tomorrow,” he said.
“I'm just hoping we're on the right side of that score. A certainty of sport is that Italy will beat Ireland one day, we just don't want it to be tomorrow.
“Their athleticism is something to admire. Given a sniff of space, they have the speed and agility to make the most of it.
“You can tell some of their players compete in France or the Guinness Premiership. They pounce on things very quickly.
“They have a very strong scrum and their line-out works well. The team that responds best to the pressure will come out on top.
“It's an away Test and we'd be delighted with a one-point win because that's how hard it will be.
“Rome is not a place that you want to be chasing the game, if you do that then the crowd get geed up and the players can be so passionate.”
Ireland have named an unchanged side following their heroics against France, a result that has created genuine belief they can win the RBS 6 Nations.
Three Triple Crowns in four years has been an unsatisfying return for O'Driscoll's 'golden generation', who return to the scene of their greatest near-miss two years ago.
Rome was the setting as they saw the title slip from their hands, with a late try conceded against Italy seeing France triumph overall with a points difference of plus four.