Saint-Andre will have to do without the services of back-up flanker Wenceslas Lauret after he sustained a concussion playing for Biarritz against Toulouse on Friday night.
Lauret has three international appearances but had not been expected to add to them against Italy, and Saint-Andre has called up the uncapped Pierrick Gunther in his place.
France are also without first-choice wing Vincent Clerc who suffered an injury to his thigh in the same fixture playing for Toulouse, with the uncapped Hugo Bonneval his replacement.
Castres' promising full-back Brice Dulin was another victim of the weekend's fixtures and is set to miss several weeks with a hamstring injury - Maxime Medard takes his place.
France are looking to build on their autumn internationals victories against Samoa, Argentina and Australia, which came on the back of a summer tour win against the Pumas. But Saint-Andre admits injuries could hamper his side's start to the RBS 6 Nations.
"We are going into the Six Nations on the back of four successive wins. However, the players were fresh then," said Saint-Andre. "I don't know in what state I will have them now after Top 14 games and the European Cup pool matches.
"I have the impression that when we prepare for tournaments, others are competing in the 100 metres and we are in the 110m hurdles.
"We are the only country involved in the tournament who had a league programme on Friday and Thursday whilst the English have been together since last Sunday like the Scots, the Welsh, the Irish and even the Italians.
"We should do the same as in England as I know from working there [at Sale and Gloucester]. There they play between tests and club rugby about 30 to 32 matches. Here we play around 40.
"We need to look after the players. It's not so much about rest as development. In England they have five weeks off, four for holiday and one for development.
"In France our guys have four weeks of holidays and then it is straight back into friendly matches and then the Top 14 starts."
Italy come into the match on the back of some impressive showings in the autumn internationals.
Their more creative approach and greater ambition under Jacques Brunel brought them victory over Tonga and a credible 22-19 defeat to Australia, though they fell 42-10 to New Zealand in between after matching them for an hour.
The Azzurri have won only one match in each of their last three RBS 6 Nations campaigns and finished with the wooden spoon on nine occasions.
Brunel has made three changes to his starting XV for the game at the Stadio Olimpico, with the South African-born scrum-half Tobie Botes replacing his Treviso teammate Edoardo Gori.
Luke McLean will get the chance to add to his 41 caps after being drafted in on the left wing in place of the injured Mirco Bergamasco, who is still recovering from a fractured kneecap suffered against Australia. With Mauro also absent, that means there will be no Bergamasco brother in the squad for the first time in 13 years.
Treviso flanker Simone Favaro has also come into the side at openside, with Robert Barbieri dropping out of the match day 22.
The only RBS 6 Nations debutant among Brunel's squad is 25-year-old back rower and lock Francesco Minto, who made his international bow against the All Blacks in November.
But captain Sergio Parisse believes Italy are ready to improve on last season's fifth-placed finish, starting by taking the game to France on Sunday.
"If we play 100 per cent and concentrate on every match then we have no fear of any team," said Parisse.
"At the Six Nations we have five matches to be in every single match and play our best and I'm really confident of my team.
"In November we started badly against Tonga and we still won, a few years ago we would play badly against them and still lose. We had 60 great minutes against New Zealand and the level was just a bit too much for us.
"Against Australia we had a poor first half but the way that we came back in the second half we scored 15 points and in the last minutes we missed a kick to probably win the match."