The Westfield Matildas will be jostling for more than just pride in its two-match friendly series against a well-credentialed China PR this month.
FIFA rankings determine seedings at each World Cup and with more than half the wait for France 2019 over, each and every match from here on in is a chance to get a head start.
We take a look at how the teams are shaping up ahead of the matches in Melbourne and Geelong.
Rocketed to sixth on the back of a stunning Tournament of Nations, where the United States, Japan and Brazil were all brushed aside.
Two further friendly wins over the Selecao followed in September and, should more scintillating displays come this month, the Westfield Matildas could be making more history.
Australia has never been higher than fifth, a position the team scaled in March 2016 following the successful Rio 2016 qualifying campaign.
Can they beat that mark by the end of a ground-breaking 2017?
Clawed back to 13th in FIFA’s latest update, one shy of the average position they’ve held since the creation of the rankings system.
The Steel Roses have not occupied a top 10 position since 2006, which marked the end of their long reign over Asian football.
Failing to qualify for the World Cup in 2011 saw the 1999 runners-up slide from 13th to 18th and it’s been a difficult road back to the top 15.
But a return to 13th in recent years shows Bruno Bini’s side is on the march again in world football.