Traditional rivals Germany and Austria will face off Tuesday evening (Wednesday morning AEST) in Vienna in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier with key players missing, as Germany looks to cement top spot in Group C.
Austria, led by coach Marcel Koller, will be hoping for an upset after winning three of its last four international games.
But its track record against world number two Germany makes this unlikely, with its last encounter - a EURO 2012 qualifier in September 2011 - ending 6-2 for its northern neighbour.
Germany kicked off its World Cup qualifying campaign with a sluggish 3-0 win against the Faroe Islands. The match at Vienna's sold-out Ernst Happel Stadium will be Austria's debut in the tournament.
"There is a bit of hope ... we beat Turkey in August for the first time in 24 years, why shouldn't we have a good game against Germany as well?" Austrian captain Christian Fuchs, who plays in the German Bundesliga with Schalke, said ahead of the match.
But he acknowledged Germany was of 'a different calibre'.
"They're in the semi-finals of every tournament and are the great favourites. We're clearly the dark horse."
Germany will be able to line up Lazio striker Miroslav Klose, Bayern Munich's Philipp Lahm and Thomas Muller, as well as Borussia Dortmund's star midfielders Marco Reus and Mario Gotze.
Austria - ranked 49 in the world by FIFA - will meanwhile be without its brightest young star, Bayern midfielder David Alaba who is recovering from an injury, and Hamburg defender Paul Scharner, banished from the squad after a row with the coach.
Alaba's club team-mates - Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gomez - will also be missing on the German side.
"The Germans are top class ... they are a harmonious team and they have a system that works," said Koller, for whom this will be the first competitive match as Austrian coach.
His German counterpart Joachim Low meanwhile warned that: "The Austrians are stronger than they have been for years.
"They will want to make our lives far from easy."
But he promised his players would not sit back and relax when they come to Vienna.
"I can feel that the team's hunger for success is there after the disappointment of the Euro," where Germany went out to Italy in the semi-finals, he said.
Austria and Germany have a long-standing football rivalry and the teams know each other well, with many Austrians playing in the German Bundesliga, including striker Marko Arnautovic of Werder Bremen, and Stuttgart's Martin Harnik.
Low also coached Austrian Bundesliga teams for several years.
"There isn't one of us who isn't up for this game," Harnik vowed.
Ahead of EURO 2012, Germany scored a perfect 10 wins in 10 qualifying matches, and the Mannschaft will be trying to replicate that before the World Cup in Brazil.
The last time Austria qualified for a World Cup was in France in 1998.
Next, Germany will play Republic of Ireland and Sweden in Group C in October, while Austria will face Kazakhstan.
The group winner will automatically go through to the World Cup while the runner-up will have a chance at a play-off.
Michael Laudrup admits the biggest challenge of his northern summer will be to find another Michu and ensure Swansea City is more clinical in front of goal next term.