Olympic gold medallist Eric Frenzel and reigning world champion Johannes Rydzek are set to renew their rivalry when the International Ski Federation Nordic Combined World Cup season begins in Finland this weekend.
Frenzel and Rydzek are the headline names on the German team for the event in Ruka, due to begin tomorrow and conclude on Sunday (November 26).
The duo are expected to battle it out once again for the overall crown, which was clinched by Frenzel during the 2016-2017 campaign.
Austria's Bernhard Gruber, the 2015 world champion, is among the notable absentees for the event.
Gruber is likely to miss a large part of the first few months of the season after he underwent surgery due to appendicitis.
Norwegians Magnus Krog and Jarl Magnus Riiber will also not compete as a result of illness.
They are instead set to make their first appearances of the season on home snow in Lillehammer on December 2 and 3.
Germany's Jakob Lange is another athlete who will be absent in Ruka as he is still recovering from a knee injury suffered in a fall in January.
Lange said he was "deeply disappointed" and confirmed he would not compete on the World Cup circuit "until further notice".
Vital World Cup points will be on offer in Ruka, where three events are on the schedule.
A "mini-tour" winner will be crowned after the final race on Sunday.
The upcoming Nordic Combined World Cup campaign takes on added significance this year, with the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang firmly on the mind of the athletes.