Hughes has been denied an international farewell this week by a groin injury, so Rangers skipper Davis will lead the side out for the third occasion at Windsor Park.
He is strong favourite to keep hold of the armband when qualifying for the 2014 World Cup begins, but he does not yet know if he will keep the job on Tuesday in Italy.
Manager Nigel Worthington could give one of the national side's other club captains - Chris Brunt, Grant McCann or Sammy Clingan - the honour in Pescara, but Davis admits he would happily stay in the role.
"Of course the captaincy is something I am looking forward to. I enjoy it at Rangers and I'm looking forward to the game," he said.
"As for taking it full time, I don't want to say too much because a lot of people here captain their sides and a lot of the boys have that responsibility at their clubs. But whoever has it will gladly take it for the country.
"I'll try and go in and lead by example, go about my job and hopefully a lot of people will react to that. Anyone who is involved in the squad, they'd take pride in being captain, so if the opportunity arose it would be great."
Davis, meanwhile, conceded Fulham defender Hughes, who bows out with 79 caps and 13 years of international football under his belt, would be a big loss.
"Aaron's had such a great career with Northern Ireland and everyone looks up to him, it would have been great for him to have a last game," he said.
"It says a lot about him that he came over yesterday to say goodbye to the squad. He's definitely been a great captain for Northern Ireland and a great player, so there are big boots to fill in that respect."