The prolific off-spinner, with 674 wickets from 110 Tests, is only 35 scalps away from surpassing the world record tally of 708 wickets by retired Australian spin wizard Shane Warne.
A rich haul against Bangladesh, against whom Muralitharan has grabbed an incredible 50 wickets in six Tests, will leave the 35-year-old well-placed to overtake Warne in the home series against England in December.
Bangladesh, the lowest ranked Test nation, face the daunting task of having to first deal with Sri Lanka's pace duo of the seasoned Chaminda Vaas and fiery Lasith Malinga before Muralitharan takes over.
The Sri Lankans have crushed the hapless Bangladeshis in the seven previous Tests between the two sides, winning four of them in fewer than three days and the remaining three early on the fourth morning.
Bangladesh's new captain Mohammad Ashraful, aged 22, has modest ambitions as he prepares his young team for the first Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club here.
"We are not looking to win but put up a good show," said Ashraful. "The key is to bat well and stretch the Sri Lankans. No one wants to lose in three or four days."
Bangladesh's hopes of providing a good fight rest on Ashraful, whose 114 on debut against Sri Lanka in 2001, just past his 16th birthday, made him Test cricket's youngest centurion.
The exciting strokemaker has gallantly stood up to the Sri Lankans in the past, scoring 475 runs in seven matches with two hundreds and a half-century at an average of 39.58.
Bangladesh, who made their maiden appearance in the second round of the limited-overs World Cup in the Caribbean earlier this year, are still finding their feet in traditional five-day Test cricket.
They have lost 40 of their 46 matches since being granted Test status in 2000, with five draws and a lone victory against a struggling Zimbabwe in 2005.
Sri Lanka, playing for the first time since coach Tom Moody quit in May to return home to Western Australia, are beset with problems of their own after being forced to look for a makeshift opening batting pair.
With veteran Sanath Jayasuriya rested and former captain Marvan Atapattu opting out for personal reasons, the hosts suffered a blow when Upul Tharanga broke a toe in his right foot when hit by a ball from Malinga during practice.
The selectors called up lanky Michael Vandort, who played the last of his seven Tests a year ago, to open the batting with debutant left-hander Malinda Warnapura.
"It is disappointing not to have a full-strength team but it gives a chance to the others to stand up and prove themselves," said captain Mahela Jayawardene.
"There is no question of taking Bangladesh lightly. They have done well in one-day cricket and look determined to improve their Test record," he said.
Bangladesh play three Tests and as many one-day internationals during the five-week tour.