This summer started in earnest when Nathan Lyon and Joe Root squared off with Ashes barbs, now the combatants will go head to head on the final day of the five-Test series.
Root suffered a hand injury when he was struck on the gloves by a Mitchell Starc delivery at the SCG on Sunday but England's captain is expected to bat today.
The tourists will resume at 4-93 on day five of the final Test, requiring a further 210 runs to make Australia bat again.
Root, who is 42 not out, looms as the biggest barrier the hosts must knock over to finish with a 4-0 series win.
Lyon, who claimed two wickets on day four, looms as Australia's biggest weapon on a pitch that is offering plenty of turn.
The offspinner was responsible for the first of many Ashes spotfires to have ignited since England arrived.
Lyon told reporters about Australia's desire to end careers and turned the heat up on Root, highlighting how he was dropped four years ago after a miserable Ashes campaign.
Root fired back.
"That's not how I'd want my players to go about things," Root said at the time.
"I played club cricket with him in Prospect (South Australia) and, at the time, we weren't sure who was the first spinner."
Lyon is understood to have been unimpressed with the comparison between Root's part-timers and the offbreaks delivered by Australia's second-most prolific Test spinner.
Lyon trapped Dawid Malan lbw on Sunday, while he bowled Alastair Cook with a beautiful delivery that turned sharply and hit the top of off stump.
"The wicket is definitely suiting him," Shaun Marsh said.
"He bowled really well today and showed his class. Hopefully tomorrow he can come out and get a few breakthroughs early."
England assistant coach Paul Farbrace admitted his side has struggled to escape Lyon's "strangehold" throughout the series.
""He's had a massive effect on this series and probably, along with Steve Smith, been their star performer," Farbrace said.
"He's allowed their seamers to have decent periods of rest but he's always been a threat, always taken important wickets."