Mission Australia is almost accomplished. The Ashes have been retained, but the series is not yet won and England will be intent on securing the victory that will earn the 3-1 scoreline that their dominance throughout the series both deserves and demands.
England's stated intention is to become the number one side in the world. There is still someway to go until they are even close to achieving that - winning in India for example - but a series win in Australia would be a good start. Extra incentive could be provided by last year's series in South Africa when England went into the final match of the series in Johannesburg 1-0 up. They were then blown away by Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel and returned home with a creditable share of the spoils rather than a glorious scalp.
The pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground traditionally favours spin and swing, so Graeme Swann will look to reprise the leading role he played in the second innings of the crushing win in Adelaide. Swing King James Anderson too will be licking his lips - as will Mitchell Johnson if the radar has returned - at the prospect of embellishing his position as the leading wicket-taker in the series.
For Australia, the match has the appearance of a new chapter with Michael Clarke taking over from the injured Ricky Ponting to become Australia's 43rd Test captain - a position that has the same profile and pressure down under as the manager of the nation's football team does in England. There will be debuts too for Usman Khawaja - the first muslim to play for Australia - and Michael Beer, who will play his 8th first-class match and his first at the SCG.
England are likely to be unchanged with Tim Bresnan retaining his place ahead of the rested Steven Finn and Paul Collingwood playing what could prove to be his final test unless he can rediscover his mojo with the bat.
Khawaja will likely replace Ponting at number three - although it would be a real statement of intent for Clarke to take this pivotal role, whilst Beer will replace the injured Ryan Harris. Doug Bollinger will likely be 12th man, giving Ben Hilfenhaus another opportunity to get amongst the wickets.
Look out for...
Michael Clarke has had just as a poor series with the bat as his erstwhile captain with just 148 runs at 21.14, and his previous silky technique seems to have deserted him. Indeed, his stats in his last 8 Tests are 322 runs at 21.46. So will the extra pressure of the captaincy provide renewal or further pain?
Graeme Swann has had a solid rather than spectacular series. Poor in Brisbane and Perth, but impressive in Adelaide and Melbourne. The SCG pitch should suit him, so a match-winning performance here would be no real surprise.
Previously at Sydney
They've been playing test cricket at the SCG since 1882 and England have a good record at the ground with 21 wins to Australia's 25 with 7 draws.
2007 - Australia won by 10 wickets- Warne, McGrath and Langer's grand finale as Australia walloped a shellshocked England to confirm the first Ashes whitewash since 1920/21.
2003 - England won by 225 runs- In a match perhaps best remembered for Steve Waugh's emotional hundred, England prevented a series whitewash with Mark Butcher's hundred in the first innings and Michael Vaughan's sparkling 183 - his third ton of the series - in the second, helping set Australia a stiff target of 452. Andy Caddick then took seven wickets - ten in the match - in his final test to let England bow out of a tough series on a high.
1999 - Australia won by 98 runs- England went into the final test of the series knowing that a win would enable them to square the series. But despite a hat-trick from Darren Gough on day 1, the luck deserted England when the third umpire controversially adjudged that Michael Slater had not been run out for 35 in Australia's second innings. Slater went on to make a brilliant 123 out of 184 and the target of 287 proved too much for Alec Stewart's side.
1995 - Match drawn - A potentially famous victory for England was ruined by the weather. Michael Atherton, John Crawley and Gough all hit half-centuries as England hit 309 batting first, before they shot out Australia for just 116 - they were 65/8 at one point. Atherton then declared with Graeme Hick two runs short of a hundred, but the weather, hundreds from Mark Taylor and Slater and stern resistance down the order enabled Australia to escape with the draw.
In Australia's favour is their imposing recent record at the SCG - 14 wins in their last 16 matches including the remarkable turnaround against Pakistan last year. Indeed, England (in 2003 - see above) are the only opponents to win at the venue during this time. However, as we've seen during the series, this Australian team is a shadow of its immediate predecessors and if England retain their focus, they should secure a comfortable win to take the series 3-1.
If you like this, follow us on Twitter @thereversesweep