Paul McGinley and Graeme McDowell look certain to head Ireland's Mission Hills World Cup bid in China.
World No 4 Padraig Harrington has indicated that he will give the event a miss for the second year on the trot.
And McGinley believes he will get the nod to partner Ulsterman McDowell, who is Ireland's leading qualifier at 31st in the world rankings.
Based on the world rankings, Darren Clarke is next in line to partner fellow Ulsterman McDowell. But the Dungannon man has not played in the World Cup since 1996 and appears likely to turn down the chance to play, opening the door for McGinley.
McDowell can choose any player he wants, providing they are in the top 100 in the world rankings - meaning bad news for Peter Lawrie, (171st), Rory McIlroy (172nd) or Damien McGrane (181st).
McGinley said: "I am pretty certain Padraig is not playing and it looks likely that Darren will not be available either.
"I spoke to Graeme last week and if Darren is not playing it will be Graeme and me.
"We will have to wait for Padraig and Darren to pull out officially. But at the moment it looks like I will be going.
"I would certainly love to play with Graeme and I'd love to play in the World Cup again. It's a great event and winning it with Padraig in 1997 was one of the highlights of my career."
McDowell had the chance to play last year but turned down the chance as it would have meant pre-qualifying in Aruba.
Challenge Tour pair Michael Hoey and Gareth Maybin eventually flew the flag as all Ireland's top players preferred to concentrate on the European Tour.
Hoey and Maybin qualiied brilliantly on the Caribbean island, eventually finishing 24th behind World Cup winners Scotland at Mission Hills.
The World Cup takes place from 27-30 November.