EXCLUSIVE: US-bound Heather Garriock will make her return from injury when the Matildas take on Italy at Parramatta Stadium.
Saturday's game is the first of two matches between the green and gold and the Le Azzure with a game in Canberra set down for February 7.
The Matildas last played Italy in the 2008 Peace Cup where Garriock terrorised the Italian women to score twice in a 3-0 win.
As for the game on Saturday, Garriock tells au.fourfourtwo.com. "I'm buzzing. I'm like a kid in a candy shop."
Garriock predicts an entertaining encounter on Saturday which, if history is anything to go by, should stand true.
Garriock recalls watching Australia play Italy as a youngster some ten years ago in what she describes as "one of the best games I've ever seen".
Italy had three players red-carded in a fiery clash with Australia at Marconi Stadium but the Italians held on for a thrilling 1-1 draw before a penalty shootout was won by the visitors.
"Technically they're very good, but many maybe their final pass lets them down occasionally," said Garriock. "But in terms of style, they're similar to Brazil."
Garriock has been troubled with a hip injury during most of the recently completed W-League campaign which has kept her out of a number of Sydney FC's matches.
But the 2007 World Cup hero has been training hard with the addition of a personal trainer for what she says will be an emotional day in Australian football.
The clash doubles as a farewell for Matildas' legend and skipper Cheryl Salisbury who announced her retirement this week.
"She's been a role model for so many of us," Garriock said. "It will make this game a huge event."
Salisbury is the record holder of caps for male or female players in this country. She's been a rock for our national team for the last two decades.
It's expected that Garriock, 26, will take over as captain of the Matildas as they look towards the next World Cup in Germany in 2011.
Following the Italy series Garriock then departs on February 25 for the USA to take up a spot with Chicago Red Stars in the new Womens Professional Soccer (WPS).
Red Stars open their campaign on April 5 against St Louis Athletica.