England manager Roy Hodgson used last night's friendly against Denmark at Wembley to give both veteran Ashley Cole and Saints teenager Luke Shaw an opportunity to stake their claim for the left-back berth.
Here, the Daily Echo takes a look at how the two men performed as they pressed for a place on the flight to Brazil in support to Everton's Leighton Baines.
At 33, Cole may have chalked up more than a century of international caps, but the Chelsea defender showed no signs of complacency and was keen to get on the ball as soon as possible.
Shaw was only five years old when Cole made his senior England debut, but at 18, the Southampton full-back displayed few nerves as he came on at the start of the second half and was soon involved in helping set up an attack on the overlap.
Cole tracked pacy Odense BK winger Emil Larsen well, and was rarely caught out of position, either on the left or when covering across in the centre.
Shaw came up against fellow substitute Kasper Kusk, from Aalborg, in the second half and also to be on his guard against the overlap attack down the Denmark right.
As has become his trademark, Cole provided an effective outlet down the left channel for England, supporting both Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge as the Liverpool duo switched across a fluid England frontline. It was his superb low cross on the overlap just before the break which saw Sterling almost open the scoring as Jakob Ankersen bundled the ball against the post.
Shaw's introduction did not change the options down the left, as the Saints man was soon off at full pelt and drilled a ball through the Denmark six-yard box which just needed a touch to put it in the net.
WORLD CUP CHANCES.
Both men will have given Three Lions' boss Hodgson plenty to think about.
While Cole showed he continues to offer an experienced head and would take stepping into the heat of a World Cup battle in his stride, Shaw also brings with him the freedom of youth - and one so far untainted by England's previous failures on the biggest stage of all.