Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli says his team's first match of the World Cup against Australia will be their hardest despite subsequent games against Spain and the Netherlands.
The South American side kick-off their Group B campaign again Ange Postecoglou's unfancied team at Cuiaba's Arena Pantanal on June 13.
And despite the Socceroos having been written off as likely whipping boys, Sampaoli has claimed to be wary of a match his players cannot afford to lose if they are to progress to the knockout stages.
"Always the first opponent is the most complicated," he said.
"In a tournament where you need to quickly (gain points), there will be nervousness, beyond what Australia can offer.
"That will be the hardest game ... anxiety becomes secondary when you have so much work to do. (This is) no time to think about how many days are left to face Australia or who are the players going out. We must continue to strengthen the group."
While Brazil and Argentina are favourites to win on the 'home soil' of South America, Sampaoli's talented side are also being talked up as potential dark horses, with the weight of domestic expectations hanging over his players.
"The enthusiasm of the people requires us to prepare in the best way," he said.
"(We will) try ... all through the preparation for the players (to) arrive in the best way to confront many rivals (with different qualities). Beyond the position (the) team will finish in our group, it is important that Chile does not lose shape against such prestigious opponents. "
"My responsibility is to prepare the squad to face a very competitive group. I must try (to make sure) that players who came in (at) different point of preparation are (at their) best.
"Our priority is to work, (the intensity of) which is negotiable. Planning is scheduled in a certain way, but here athletes have to (combine) the mental with the physical (and) with the football. So, that's what we are (at)."
The Socceroos play Croatia in a friendly next Friday night (kick off 9am AEST time Saturday morning live on Fox Sports) ahead of their tournament opener against Chile on June 13.
And don't forget to follow the Socceroos on social media
Cahill's Jamshedpur remain unbeaten in Indian Super League
Tim Cahill’s unbeaten start to life in the Indian Super League has continued with his Jamshedpur drawing 1-1 with ATK overnight. In his first home appearance for his new club, Australia’s greatest-ever goalscorer started in attack and played 74 minutes before he was substitute
Aussies Abroad: Milestone moment for Leckie in Bundesliga
Mathew Leckie has reached an impressive milestone after again featuring for Hertha Berlin as they continued their strong start to the season in the Bundesliga. The Caltex Socceroos winger came off the bench for the last 28 minutes as Hertha drew 1-1 with Freiburg in Berlin.
Aussies Abroad: Rogic stars in clash of Caltex Socceroos, Ryan and Mabil impress
In-form Caltex Socceroos star Tom Rogic produced a man-of-the-match performance in Celtic’s 4-2 Scottish Premiership win over Hibernian on Sunday morning (AEDT). Rogic - who netted in Australia’s 4-0 friendly win over Kuwait on Tuesday - scored an outstanding goal and then pro
Milicic ‘extremely proud’ of Young Socceroos comeback
Young Socceroos boss Ante Milicic praised his side’s “strong Australian mentality” after they battled back to salvage a 1-1 draw in their AFC U-19 Championship opener against Korea Republic. Melbourne City’s Ramy Najjarine came off the bench to score a stunning 89th-minute equ