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The Ashes 2017-2018 Starts This Week and Here’s Our Preview and Tips

November 22, 2017

After England claimed victory in the 2015 Ashes Series by defeating Australia 3-2, they claimed their fifth Ashes victory in the last seven series between the teams. Joe Root’s team have now travelled to Australia to defend the Ashes in a five test match series between the teams and the action gets underway at The Gabba in Brisbane tonight from midnight.

Of course, the start of such a big test series means that there is going to be huge interest across the world of sports and sports betting in the action that takes place on and sometimes, off the field. And of course, as a No Deposit Poker customer, we know that you want to keep abreast of all the top betting available for some of the major sports events of the year, whichever company you choose to bet with.

For this article, I’ve chosen to preview some of the best markets using Coral Sport as my preferred bookmaker, because I feel the combination of great value starter offer and the odds offered on markets make them a decent choice for any sports betting fan looking to sign up with a site.

So without any further ado, let’s now take a look at how each of the teams competing in the Ashes 2017-2018 are shaping up with their two squads of players, both of which have undergone some major changes even since the 2015 Ashes series between the teams.

England and Australia Ashes Squads 2017-2018

There’s been plenty of changes to both squads ahead of this Ashes series with a number of players from the last series in Australia (which the home side won 5-0) now either retired from test cricket, not selected or simply unavailable for a number of reasons including injury and suspension. The two squads have been named as follows:

Australia – Steve Smith (Captain), David Warner (Vice-Captain), Cameron Bancroft, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine (Wicketkeeper), Chadd Sayers and Mitchell Starc

England – Joe Root (Captain), James Anderson (Vice-Captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Balance, Stuart Broad, Alistair Cook, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes (Wicketkeeper), Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Mark Stoneman, Chris Woakes, James Vince

One of the most notable omissions from the England squad is Ben Stokes, who is still suspended pending an investigation into a fracas at a Bristol nightclub in the summer. His replacement was Steven Finn, but he was injured in the warm up games and will miss the tour. Finn was subsequently replaced by Tom Curran. Stokes role as Vice-Captain for England has been taken on by bowler James Anderson.

Australia’s squad selection has also not been without its controversy, particularly over the selection of wicketkeeper Tim Paine who will play his first test in seven years in Brisbane, plus there are concerns over the fitness of opener David Warner and middle-order batsman Shaun Marsh for the first test, with Glenn Maxwell drafted in to deputise if one or both cannot regain fitness ahead of the first ball.

Where will the 2017-2018 Ashes Series be played?

There are a total of five tests in this Ashes series and they will be played at five different venues across Australia from Thursday 23rd November through until the 8th January.  For the first time in an Ashes Series, one of the test matches (the second) will be a Day/Night game. Each of the venues for the tests is detailed below:

  • 1st Test – 23rd – 27th November – The Gabba, Brisbane
  • 2nd Test – 2nd – 6th December – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (Day/Night Test)
  • 3rd Test – 14th – 18th December – WACA Ground, Perth
  • 4th Test – 26th – 30th December – Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
  • 5th Test – 4th – 8th January – Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney

What does recent Ashes history show for both teams?

Recent Ashes history makes good reading for England fans with Joe Root’s team being the victor in five of the last seven Ashes series. However, the two series they have lost during that time have both been in Australia and both have been by a humiliating 5-0 scoreline (in 2013-14 and 2006-07).  What is clear then is that England’s record Down Under isn’t great.

That is certainly the case when you look further back in time with several other heavy defeats in Ashes Series in Australia for England including a number of 4-1 defeats plus one 4-0 win for the home team too. On home soil, the Aussies have won just over 50% of the tests they have competed in, with England winning just over 34%.

In contrast, England’s record in England against Australia isn’t anywhere near as dominant which does suggest that Joe Root’s team are in for a torrid winter against Shaun Smith’s team.

Across the full history of the Ashes, both teams have won the urn a total of 32 times apiece with just five drawn series. Australia have won 18 on home soil and 14 in England and England have won 18 in England and 14 on Australian soil, although the majority of these English away victories did come many, many years ago.

In terms of test matches, Australia lead the series by winning 130 of the tests competed for in the Ashes, England winning 106 and there have been 89 tests drawn between the teams.

The First Test Preview and Tips

England have already named their team for the First Test in Brisbane which starts tonight at midnight UK time and the only surprise inclusion is that Jake Ball returns to the team ahead of Craig Overton, who replaced him when Ball was injured in the warm up matches.

England Team to face Australia: Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Joe Root (Capt), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Jake Ball, James Anderson.

Australia have not yet named their team to face England as they are sweating on the fitness of opening batsman David Warner, who has a neck injury but who should be fit to play and also if middle-order batsman Shaun Marsh, who has a back problem and is more of a doubt. Should either not make it then Glenn Maxwell will deputise.

The Gabba is a formidable place for England to start the series, Australia have won 33, drawn 13, tied 1 and lost just 8 of 55 tests at the ground and England have won just two tests there since the end of World War II. Only seven English players have ever scored 100 at The Gabba.

  • Who will win the First Test Match?

Presently, Coral feel that Australia are the heavy favourites to win the match as they are priced at 8/11 for the victory in the first test. Joe Root’s team are a 5/2 shot, while you can back a rare draw at The Gabba at 4/1. The Aussies record at The Gabba is clearly influencing the bookmakers and England’s recent issues with the bat, notably their predisposition towards collapses in the middle order, does not further their cause. That said, I don’t think this Aussie team is anywhere near as good as some of the teams England have faced in the past and as such, I think a rare draw could well be on the cards here.. Tip – Back the Draw here at 4/1 with Coral.

  • Which team will win The Ashes Series?

Australia’s historic advantage over England makes them the clear favourites to win this series, especially after pushing England hard in 2015. But the Aussies have had some issues to deal with in their own squad and they do not have the quality of player they have had in the past. England would be stronger with Ben Stokes in the squad, but even so, they have great strength batting and I think that is the key here. I’m backing that deep batting core of players to be pivotal and push England to a rare victory on Australian soil.  Tip – England to win the Ashes at 3/1 with Coral.

About Ian John

Ian John
Working my way though the UK's top online poker sites (and some of the ones near the bottom as well) to bring you a first-hand take on the absolute best choices for online poker players from the UK.