Andy Murray will land in San Diego today, ready for a challenge as big as any he is likely to face all year.

The Scot switches from the hard courts of Melbourne to the clay of America's west coast as he leads Britain in the Davis Cup against the United States.

It is the first time Britain have been in the top flight of the competition since 2008 and Murray may well have to play singles and doubles if they are to have a chance of progressing.

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With the all-conquering Bryan brothers playing doubles for the Americans, as always, Britain's chances are slim, but the home side expects Murray to give 100% no matter what.

"I think Andy's going to play doubles," Bob Bryan said. "He's not going to just show up there and hope they can get through. If he shows up, he's going to put all his efforts into winning that tie. We've played him in the past, there's a ton of stuff he does well. It will be a really tough match."

All things being equal, Murray would be confident of beating John Isner, who's battling an ankle injury, and Sam Querrey, even on clay, his weakest surface and the one the Scot admits gave his back most trouble before he underwent surgery in September.

Four months on, Murray was understandably sore after his efforts in reaching the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, where he lost to Roger Federer in four sets, but he enjoyed two days off and is looking forward to the tie.

All the indications are that teenager Kyle Edmund will get the nod ahead of James Ward for the second singles spot, on the strength of recent good performances on clay. Colin Fleming is the one nominated doubles player and though Dominic Inglot will travel as a reserve, Murray and Fleming is the most likely combination.

US captain Jim Courier said he had been impressed by Murray in Melbourne. "I think it's a strong effort for him to play as well as he did, considering what he's come back from," Courier said. "I certainly thought his back looked like it was limiting him towards the end of the match [with Federer]. But he was courageous to stay out there and fight and try to play through what was clear to us was a problem for him. But I am not surprised to see him play well so soon because he's an awesome tennis player."

Simon Cambers