South Africa have reached the semi-finals four times but have yet to make a final.
And when the World Cup was last played in England 20 years ago, a dramatic semi-final tie with Australia saw South Africa bow out.
But Du Plessis said it would not be an issue this time around.
"You can't control history -- I am a firm believer in that," Du Plessis said at a World Cup captains' press conference in London.
"All you can try and focus on is what is ahead. If you are good enough on the day then great, but if the opposition are better on the day then that's OK," he added.
"The squad that we have here compared to previous tournaments are a lot younger and with those new faces comes exciting opportunities."
South Africa have arguably the toughest start to the group phase when they face England in the tournament opener at the Oval on Thursday.
With conditions promising to be ideal for batting, Du Plessis believes it is bowlers who could yet determine the destiny of the World Cup.
And with an attack led by an outstanding fast bowler in Kagiso Rabada, South Africa could trouble their opponents' top-orders.
"I think bowlers will win this tournament," he said. "Batters will score runs on good wickets, so the team towards the end will be the team that will have done well with the ball -- teams that can take wickets on flat pitches."