Australia will meet the United States in South Africa on Saturday in what is each team's final World Cup warm-up match before the tournament kicks off next week.
There is a neat symmetry to the clash. The two nations are similar in culture and the two teams are of similar ability. Most of their top players feature in the English Premier League, where a number of the Aussies and Americans are team-mates, and both teams face tricky paths in Groups C and D. If one of the countries unexpectedly tops their group while the other comes second in theirs, this preparation fixture will be reprised in the second round.
But United States coach Bob Bradley insists the possibility of facing the Socceroos in the next round will not affect his approach to the friendly. He won't be keeping any secrets as he focuses solely on fine-tuning his team to a level that can see them through Group C, which also includes England, Slovenia and Algeria.
Bradley said: ''Our decisions for this game are only made with thoughts of the first round. That's the first goal, to get out of the group. And if we're lucky enough to move on, we will also have had the chance to see any possible opponents we might meet in the round of 16. As far as I'm concerned, you will learn a lot more in those matches than you will in friendlies.''
United States goalkeeper Tim Howard plays with Australia's talismanic midfielder Tim Cahill at Everton, the club where American forward Landon Donovan featured on loan this past season. Over at Europa League finalists Fulham, Socceroos 'keeper Mark Schwarzer shares a dressing room with US star Clint Dempsey. The Fulham team-mates said they were looking forward to earning bragging rights on Saturday.
Dempsey said: ''Any game you want to score, but it would be nice to score against Mark, because he's always got plenty to say at training,'' he joked. ''Mark's a great goalkeeper, he helped us out a lot at Fulham this season, a lot of our success goes down to him.
"He gives you a lot of confidence, he's got a lot of experience, and he motivates the team around him. It's going to be great fun to play against him, and Australia are lucky to have a goalkeeper of his quality.''
Schwarzer said: ''I'm going to kick him if he scores against me."
Australia's Harry Kewell will start the match on the bench after completing two full days of training. They are likely to field a similar line-up to this week's friendly against Denmark, which they won 1-0, as Brett Emerton remains unavailable. Regular substitutes Brett Holman and David Carney are also missing with minor problems.