The Azzurri currently trail Ireland by three points in Pool C, but a win in Dunedin, coupled with an Australian success over Russia, will see the Irish eliminated from the World Cup and Italy progress to the quarter-finals.
Mallet believes that his players are capable of securing the points because they possess a "better front row" than Declan Kidney's team.
"Ireland played very well against Australia and dominated them physically but we know we have the better front-row and we will try to prove that," said the coach.
"Hopefully those guys can put us on the front foot and that will make it more difficult for Ireland."
Italy have never qualified from the group stages of the competition.