Australia is set to test itself against two of the world's best teams en route to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, with Football Federation Australia (FFA) to this week confirm an international against Brazil in September, and a match lined up against France in October.
The Socceroos’ dream date against the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup winner and World Cup host is expected to be staged at the federal capital Brasilia's Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha Stadium on the nation’s Independence Day, 8 September (AEST).
The World Game understands FFA has also lined up two internationals in Europe during October’s double FIFA match window, with the one against France – which trails Group I leader Spain by a point in its bid to qualify automatically for Brazil – likely to be scheduled for either 12 October or 16 October (AEST).
Australia last met Les Bleus in 2001, beating them 1-0 at the Confederations Cup in the Korea Republic before drawing 1-1 in Melbourne ahead of the first leg of its World Cup qualifier against Uruguay.
The only survivor from that era is veteran midfielder Mark Bresciano, 33, who came on as a substitute in both games.
The Socceroos will round of their 2013 calendar back on home soil in another double FIFA date - 16 or 20 November - against a team from Europe which by then will already have qualified for Brazil.
It could even be a double-header event with Australia playing the same team in both Sydney and Melbourne.
Official confirmation of the clash with the Selecao – overwhelming favourite to win on home soil next year as it hosts the World Cup for the first time since 1950 – will be the seventh meeting between the two nations.
Brazil has chalked up four wins, with Australia claiming one victory - a 1-0 2001 Confederations Cup upset.
The countries last collided in Germany at the 2006 World Cup with Brazil beating Guus Hiddink’s Socceroos 2-0 in Munich.
The journey to Brazil will provide Australian officials with the chance to scout possible bases for its third successive World Cup finals appearance ahead of the official draw for the tournament in Bahia on 7 December (AEST).
It will also provide the chance to gauge the mood of Brazilians following the mass demonstrations during the recent Confederations Cup over the cost of staging the World Cup at the expense of social welfare.
Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side – which is expected to boast all its big guns on what are official designated FIFA dates – plays Australia as part of a sequence of international matches, beginning on 14 August against Switzerland. Brazil hosts Portugal three days after its match with Australia.
Australia defender Rhys Williams is hoping that a positional switch for his club does not damage his bid to lock in a centre-back spot for his country heading into the FIFA 2014 World Cup.