Italy are awaiting the draw for next summer's FIFA Confederations Cup which takes place in Johannesburg on Saturday at 1500 UK time (+1hr for Italy/CET).
The tournament in South Africa should provide a tantalising appetiser ahead of world football's main course - the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.
The reigning 2006 World champions Italy, Euro 2008 winners Spain and the 2007 Copa America holders Brazil are all due to grace the intercontinental showpiece scheduled for June 14-28, 2009.
The hosts South Africa, along with Egypt (Africa Cup of Nations 2008), Iraq (Asian Cup 2007), New Zealand (Nations Cup 2008) and the United States of America (Gold Cup 2008), will compete in the eight-team tournament.
The teams will be divided into two groups of four. South Africa, as hosts, are already placed in Group A and, as two African teams should not be drawn in the same group, Egypt will be drawn in Group B.
Marcello Lippi's Italy and European rivals Spain will also be kept separate from each other in the group stage.
The teams will play their group opponents once with the top two qualifying for the semi final stages on 24 and 25 June.
Four host cities will be used for the tournament - Bloemfontein, Rustenburg, Pretoria and Johannesburg where the final takes place on 28 June 2009.
The competition will offer vital preparation ahead of the 2010 World Cup finals for the teams participating, and also for the South African authorities who will want to fine tune any issues with the organisation, policing and ticketing.