Sydney: The fate of the Ashes was decided last week in Melbourne but with the series and a huge amount of pride still on the line, neither Australia or England are calling this week's fifth test in Sydney a dead rubber.
For England, with the Ashes already checked in for the journey home for the first time in 24 years, it is a chance to show their ruthlessness as they continue on a path they hope will take them to the very top of the world game.
For an Australian team under the temporary captaincy of Michael Clarke, it is an opportunity to put behind them the annus horribilis of 2010 and make a new start in a new year with a morale-boosting victory to level the series at 2-2.
The memory of the humbling defeat in Perth sandwiched between the innings triumphs in Adelaide and Melbourne was fresh enough for England captain Andrew Strauss to reissue his anti-complacency edict on Sunday, and warn against a backlash.
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"Sometimes it can be a bit of a release knowing that you've got nothing to lose anymore," he said. "So I think we're quite conscious of Australia coming back at us pretty hard this week and if there are any weaknesses to be exposed, it's important we do that."
For Clarke, standing in for the injured Ricky Ponting on his home ground, the memory of Perth offers hope to a team including new caps Usman Khawaja and Michael Beer.
"England are high on confidence but as we've seen from Perth, when we're at our best, we can beat them," the confident 29-year-old said.
"There's no doubt about it, if we are at our best, we will win this test match."
England were the last visitors to win a test at the Sydney Cricket Ground at the end of the 2002-03 Ashes tour -- they lost the series 4-1 -- and Australia have since won nine of the 10 matches at the ground.
Ponting played in all nine and his absence from the Australian team for the first time since 2004 because of a fractured finger gives Khawaja a chance to become the first Muslim to wear the baggy green cap.
The debut of the freescoring Pakistan-born lefthander gives a fresh look to an Australian team which Clarke hopes can draw a line under the humiliation of failing to regain the Ashes.
"We've spoken a lot about what has gone on before and I keep saying 'last' year, because it is done and we need to be focussed on right now and this test match," he said.
"The least we can do for the public is to get out there for five days and show a really good, fighting Australian cricket team."
The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is the most spin-friendly of the five Australian Ashes venues, which could mean another chance for England's off-spinner Graeme Swann to shine.
"I don't think it's going to rag all over the place, but definitely over the last couple of days he's going to come into it more," said Strauss.
"I think his spell in Melbourne in the second innings was fantastic and if he bowls anything like that he's going to be a handful."
Beer is a secret spinning weapon. So secret, most Australians had never heard of him before he was selected in the squad for the Perth test.
The left-armer gets his chance after two tests as 12th man but will have no local knowledge in his armoury as he had never been inside the SCG before Saturday's training session.Ashes 2010-11
As usual, England will announce their team just before the start of Monday's first day (2330 GMT Sunday) with Tim Bresnan hoping to retain his place among the seamers ahead of Steve Finn.
"We always take a good look at the pitch and decide what the best balance of the side is for that particular wicket," a businesslike Strauss said.
Australia - Shane Watson, Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke (captain), Mike Hussey, Steve Smith, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Beer.
England - Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Matt Prior, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan, Chris Tremlett.