One of the most intriguing fixtures in the second round of the World Cup pitches Spain against Portugal.
The geographical neighbours entered this summer’s showpiece among the favourites to go all the way, with both having fared admirably at recent tournaments.
Portugal finished as runners-up at Euro 2004 and fourth at the 2006 World Cup, while Spain made the last 16 four years ago and took the spoils at the 2008 European Championship.
The weight of expectation perhaps weighed heavy on both teams during the group stages, as they offered only glimpses of their awe-inspiring best.
Spain lost their opening encounter to Switzerland, before recovering well to see off Honduras and Chile and top Group H.
Portugal finished second to Brazil in Group G, with a 7-0 demolition of North Korea undoubtedly their highlight so far.
Carlos Queiroz’s side are also the only team left in the competition yet to concede a goal, having been held 0-0 by Ivory Coast and Brazil in their other two games.
Spain will be hoping that their attacking weapons start to fire as the World Cup enters the knockout stages, while Portugal have also yet to see the best from their main men.
Fernando Torres has so far failed to find the target for the Spanish, and looks far from match sharp, while Cristiano Ronaldo has been unable to produce the sparkling form which earned him the 2009 World Player of the Year award.
All that could be about to change, though, as both nations boast considerable experience and match-winning firepower within their ranks.
Spain’s quest for a quarter-final place has been hampered by the news that Xabi Alonso looks set to be unavailable to Vicente del Bosque.
He sustained an ankle knock during the final group fixture against Chile and is struggling to prove his fitness.
Should he miss out, his place in the starting XI is expected to go to Javi Martinez – who replaced him against Chile.
Spain will also be without Real Madrid centre-half Raul Albiol, who has an ankle injury of his own.
Portugal will welcome Deco back into their plans for the all-or-nothing encounter.
He missed the final two fixtures of the group stages with a hip complaint, but is now raring to go once more.
Queiroz will be delighted to have Deco back in contention, as fellow playmaker Danny is missing with a thigh injury.
Ruben Amorim is struggling with a similar problem and he will once again be forced to watch on from the sidelines.