Turkey face World Cup debutants China on Thursday needing an emphatic win and a helping hand from Brazil, who must beat tiny Costa Rica if the Turks are to have any chance of qualifying for the second round.
The Chinese, already out of the competition after defeats by Costa Rica and Brazil, have only their dignity to lose, but they will be looking for a strong showing to give their fans something to cheer about as they head home.
The Turks are expected to field an extra striker in their final Group C game, which takes place at the same time as the Brazil-Costa Rica clash.
"We have to beat China, although Costa Rica are in a stronger position than us, we have to beat China and then wait for the result of the Brazil game," Turkey coach Senol Gunes said on Monday.
Brazil have already qualified for the second round after two victories. Costa Rica will go through unless they lose to Brazil and Turkey beat China by enough goals to overcome the Costa Ricans superior goal difference.
The Chinese, meanwhile, are hoping to retain a shred of national pride by achieving at least one of their three official targets of one goal, one win and one draw.
They lost 2-0 to Costa Rica in their opening game and 4-0 to Brazil before Costa Rica drew with Turkey and eliminated them, to the disappointment of up to 30,000 Chinese fans who have come to watch them in South Korea.
China have been criticised for their conservative tactics and poor finishing, but they showed showed flashes of potential in the Brazil game and were unlucky not to score a goal.
Coach Bora Milutinovic has said they could beat Turkey if they play as they did against the four-time world champions.
"This game is much more important than before," he said on Monday. "For us it is very important to finish well. This is our goal."
Gunes looks set to play a second forward in support of Hakan Sukur, who has appeared isolated in the last two matches and has drifted in and out of the play.
Besiktas forward Ilhan Mansiz, top scorer in the Turkish league last season, is the most likely candidate to partner Hakan Sukur although Arif Erdem is also an option.
Gunes will also welcome the return from suspension of defender Alpay Ozalan and left-winger Hakan Unsal.
He may opt for a three-man defence with Hakan Unsal and Fatih Akyel ready to pull back on the wings to take over defensive duties.
Milutinovic has yet to decide whether his defenders and most experienced players Fan Zhiyi and Sun Jihai will play. They both missed the Brazil game with injuries.
If they are unavailable, he is expected to call up defender Du Wei and midfielder Qi Hong, who stood out in the Brazil game. Pacy striker Qu Bo may also be summoned to test the Turkish defence.
Poor Turkish defending in the 85th minute on Sunday allowed Costa Rica to snatch a 1-1 draw. The Turks also tripped up in the dying moments of their opening match, when they conceded a penalty to give Brazil a 2-1 win.
Turkey: (3-5-2) 1-Rustu Recber; 16-Umit Ozat, 5-Alpay Ozalan, 4-Fatih Akyel; 8-Tugay Kerimoglu, 21-Emre Belozoglu, 10-Yildiray Basturk, 20-Hakan Unsal, 11-Hasan Sas; 9-Hakan Sukur, 17-Ilhan Mansiz
China: (4-5-1) 22-Jiang Jin; 17-Du Wei, 14-Li Weifeng, 4-Wu Chengying, 21-Xu Yunlong; 18-Li Xiaopeng, 19-Qi Hong, 8-Li Tie, 15-Zhao Junzhe, 9-Ma Mingyu; 10-Hao Haidong.
Match referee: Oscar Ruiz (Colombia)
Linesmen : Ali Tomusange (Uganda)
Curtis Charles (Antigua)