FIFA has confirmed Italy will be one of the eight seeded teams when the draw for the World Cup finals is made on Friday.
It means the world champions will avoid favourites Brazil and Spain, who are two of the other seeded teams, in the group stage of the competition.
Argentina, England, Germany, Netherlands and hosts South Africa are the remaining seeded nations in Friday's draw that gets underway in Cape Town at 1745, UK time.
However, Marcello Lippi's Azzurri could be grouped together with fierce rivals France or Portugal after the European pair missed out on the seedings following their struggles in qualifying.
The eight seeds will all be in pot one, with the remaining three pots drawn on regional boundaries.
Each seeded nation will face one team in pot two - a side from Asia, north or central America, or Oceania - one from pot three, which has five African and three South American sides, and one from the exclusively European pot four.
"Hosts South Africa will be automatically positioned as A1, the other seeded teams will be drawn into the other groups B-H but will always be in position '1' of their group," read a statement from world football's governing body.
"Groups will be drawn from A to H and the positions in the group will be drawn for pots two to four.
"Geographical criteria will also be respected, meaning that no two teams from the same confederation will be drawn in the same group (except European teams, where a maximum of two will be in a group).
"For example, South Africa cannot play the African teams from pot three and Argentina and Brazil cannot be drawn against the three remaining South American teams."
The tournament is set to be held at 10 stadiums around South Africa from June 11 to July 11 next summer with reigning world champions Italy hoping to defend the title and lift the trophy for a record-matching fifth time.
Pot 1 (seeds): South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina, England.
Pot 2 (Asia, Oceania and North/Central America): Australia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Honduras, Mexico, United States of America, New Zealand.
Pot 3 (Africa and South America): Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay.
Pot 4 (Europe): Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland.