Where there should be excitement there is trepidation.
Where there is hope, there is also fear.
England expects -- but what it also anticipates is a night of high drama, tension and nails being bitten until they are no longer visible to the human eye.
When Roy Hodgson's side take to the turf at the iconic Wembley Stadium, the 'Home of Football', it will attempt to secure a victory which guarantees a place at next year's World Cup.
One win is all that separates England from challenging the world's best in Brazil and yet it still seems so far away.
Perhaps it's not difficult to understand given the country's history and that painful night 40 years ago when England faltered in such agonizing fashion.
As on Tuesday, the opponent will once again be Poland.
It was Poland and their goalkeeper, Jan Tomaszewski who was infamously labeled a 'clown' by former Nottingham Forest and Derby manager Brian Clough ahead of the qualifier on October 17 1973, who proved the scourge of the Three Lions.
Indeed, it was the Poles who had the last laugh -- claiming a 1-1 draw to progress to the 1974 World Cup finals and leave England desolated.
Forget that Poland only had two efforts on goal to England's 36 or that the home side hit the woodwork twice and had four efforts cleared off the line.
Instead, that night is remembered as one of the most depressing in the history of English football.
Once again it is Poland, which will be roared on by more than 18,000 fans, which stands in England's way -- a proposition which is enough to make England manager Roy Hodgson slightly nervous.
"I'm a worrier. I think anyone who works in football is a worrier," Hodgson told reporters.
"It won't be my best night's sleep because at the moment all of my waking thoughts are around England versus Poland.
"On the other hand, I have great faith and trust in the players. I don't think I can be putting a stronger bunch of players, a more confident bunch of players, onto the field.
"But football is not a science. If it was a science and based on logic and science, I think we would be 99% there.
"But it's not, it's a game and things can happen in games that you don't really want to happen and that's what makes you worried.
"It's not that you are worried the team is not capable, it's just that you are worried something untoward might happen."
England has performed inconsistently during its qualifying campaign, holding Ukraine to draws on two occasions, while also finishing level away in Poland and Montenegro.
Until Friday's 4-1 win over Montenegro, it had only managed to defeat minnows San Marino and Moldova -- a statistic which has left Tomaszewski unimpressed with England's current generation.
"Back then they (England) were one of the world's best teams, probably even the best," Tomaszewski told AFP
"Now England is weak, weak but they're not falling below a certain level. They could have qualified already, like the Italians or The Netherlands, but they've drawn too many games
"They (England) are still among the world's best, but for sure now they're not in as good form as 1973.
"But, objectively speaking, they're the best team in the group.
"Something just isn't right with England these days. All the players are fantastic but during a game -- I mean individually these players are nearly the world's best -- when they play together something's off with the communication, it's just not there."