Although Australia start the Ashes Series as firm favourites with most of the bookies, as we countdown to the first Test at the Gabba, in Brisbane; the Ashes will be another thriller, as always, this time around in Australia.
There are compelling reasons why bookmakers fancy Australia to win the series. One of which is that Australia have won six of their last seven home Ashes series. This helps explain why they are as short as 1.40 to win the series, and England are 4.33. Those placing bets on the Ashes should visit My Betting Sites as they will be listing odds as the series progresses.
Now let’s have a look at the 1st Test, in Brisbane, at the GABBA.
Australia’s record in Brisbane is amazing - they have lost only five of 59 Tests at the Gabba and none at all since 1988. Australia have won their last four here and 11 of their last 13 matches. Also, five of Australia’s six home Ashes series wins since 1986/87 have started with a win at the Gabba. Australia are clearly the likelier winners here to take 1-0 lead in the series. You may think; winning at the GABBA and winning the series are obviously related and no side has come from behind to win an Ashes series since 2005 - the last away team to do it was Australia in 1997 - however, all the signs are that it could be a very close series.
So, on balance, although Australia will probably take the first Test, at the GABBA, England will have plenty of chances to come back against the 'old enemy' in the next few Tests.
There are three Tests that history suggests that England can reasonably hope to come out on top of Australia - the day-night match at Adelaide, and the Festive double header at the MCG, in Melbourne, (Boxing day Test) and the SCG, in Sydney, (New Year Test).
Even if England are beaten, at the Gabba, they will be confident of fighting back and getting a result at Adelaide, a ground where they have a good record with nine wins in all and two in the last six matches against Australia. In addition, the fact it's a day-night match, may also be to England’s advantage as well.
England will have also taken a huge boost from the bowling performances of James Anderson and Chris Woakes in the warm up match against the Cricket Australia XI.
Both sides also have some glaring weaknesses which they will need to address. For example, there is uncertainty over at least three of the top six batsmen on both sides and Australia's fast bowlers, like England’s, will all be prone to injury on this gruelling Ashes Tour. So, I think the series could be closer than the odds suggest or that supporters and fans on both sides seem to think.
My Prediction – England to retain the Ashes, drawing the series 2-2 after losing, at the GABBA, in the first Test.