England will find out the three teams they will face in the group stages of the 2006 World Cup on Friday, and the players and fans will be hoping the draw is kind to them.
The structure of the draw means that certain possibilities are ruled out, with the rest literally down to the luck of the draw.
While every side who reaches the World Cup finals deserve respect, teams with serious aspirations of winning the trophy will be more keen on facing certain sides than others.
So who will Sven-Goran Eriksson and co be hoping to pull out of the hat? And who will they be desperate to avoid?
BBC Sport looks at the permutations - from an England perspective - for Friday's draw in Leipzig.
TAKE IT FOR GRANTED
As one of the eight seeded teams, England will definitely avoid an early meeting with the other major powers of international football.
The list of other seeds - Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Mexico - includes several of England's international arch-rivals and the England squad will obviously be glad to delay any meeting with these sides until the latter stages of the tournament.
England will also definitely not face Serbia & Montenegro in the group phase. The Serbs will be placed in a pool with either Brazil, Argentina or Mexico to ensure there are no more than two European sides in any one group.
Although England's seeding should prevent a repeat of their nasty 2002 World Cup draw where they played Argentina, Sweden and Nigeria in the group stages, there are several sides Eriksson will be anxious to steer clear of.
In pot two, the Ivory Coast and Paraguay look to be the ones to avoid.
ENGLAND'S NIGHTMARE GROUP?
Chelsea's Didier Drogba and Arsenal's Kolo Toure are probably the most recognisable names from the Ivory Coast, but a large proportion of their squad have experience in the upper echelons of the European leagues.
Paraguay, meanwhile, are a well-organised and defensively strong side and look to be a threat in front of goal with Werder Bremen striker Nelson Haedo Valdez and Bayern Munich's Roque Santa Cruz a particular danger.
But the side all the seeds will be hoping to avoid is surely Holland in pot three.
They missed out on a seeding place, but went unbeaten through a tricky qualifying group and have a squad full of talent with the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Edwin van der Sar and Arjen Robben
In pot four, the United States are a team the big guns will not want to meet. Quarter-finalists in 2002, the US have come of age as an international force and can call on many experienced campaigners.
IN SVEN'S DREAMS
On the other hand, things could work out very nicely indeed.
ENGLAND'S DREAM GROUP?
Angola are arguably the weakest of the African teams with only Pedro Mantorras playing at a recognised top-level club. Although they are not to be taken lightly, England would be happy to take this draw.
In pot three, England would
not be quaking in their boots at the thought of facing Switzerland again after brushing them aside comfortably in Euro 2004.
England would also be confident about their chances against Poland after beating them home and away during qualifying.
And in pot four, the challenge of beating Saudi Arabia should be well within England's power.