The 2014 World Cup draw placed Italy with England, Uruguay and Costa Rica.
"The game that can set the tone for a tournament is usually the opener, so in this case I think Italy-England will fit the bill," said Zola.
"Along with the technical difficulties of two football powers, the climactic conditions will add to the problems. Manaus is hot, humid and far away.
"The English feared having to play there, but it won't be easy for us Italians either, so physical fitness will be fundamental."
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