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Nov 4, 2009
Sooooo, anyone care to speculate on the biggest sporting event of the year?

England massive favorites on Betfair. I wonder if it will play that way.....Maybe I (along with others) am being paranoid what with it being Australia. You never know what they'll produce.

Michael Clarkes form has been nothing short of spectacular in the past year and will no doubt be Englands "key wicket" along with the obvious threat of Shane Watson. I can honestly say that it's difficult to see any major threat coming from anyone else in their top to middle order. You look at the likes of Hughes, who in theory is replacement for Punter, but there is no comparison in terms of ability, not to mention his dreadful Ashes record. You also look at their other two opening options Cowan and Warner. I think Warner looks a decent batsmen, but certainly not comparable to previous opening bats.

Then we move to the likes of the once highly rated Khawaja who looks a useful player, but was massively found out in the Ashes 2010-11. Finch and Forrest I know little about, but we should have a chance to see how Quinney gets on at Essex in the coming season. Marsh and White, I can't say I rate that highly....nor do I feel particularly concerned about Voges. Obviously Haddin represents a "threat", but not consistent enough to carry any real fear to his possible inclusion in the squad.

As far as the bowling is concerned. I haven't really been paying much attention to their attack, but I'm sure Siddle, Bollinger, Hilfenhaus and Johnson will be included. All too inconsistent to concern me massively. And the one thing you would want to possess against Englands batsmen is the one thing they don't have....A useful spinner! Henriques sounds like a hot talent, but I doubt he would get the nod at such a young age and might be introduced in the return tour rather than this one.

I really would love to see Tremlett fit and bowling well again. He terrorized the Aussies in the last Ashes and would be such a shame if he can't come in for this series. Anderson will obviously get in....Broad perhaps struggling with his form, but whether that will get him fired up given the event.....Finn looks likely to feature in this series also. Would love to have Monty bowling, but I expect he will only appear when needed. For me, he's definitely a better spinner than Swanny, just lacks luck at times imo. I'm not convinced on Patel, and less so with Bresnan who just bores the pants off me! So predictable.

Battingwise, I can't see us making any radical changes to the usual suspects Cook, Trott, KP, Bell with Compton probably likely to come in as an opener. Obviously Root, Taylor, Morgan and Bairstow will all be waiting in the wings for any slip ups and poor form, but I think only one of those will play predominantly....Not sure who it will be, but I would say Morgan has possibly blown his Test chances for now. Prior nailed on for WK as always.

I would say probably early prediction on line up..... Cook, Compton, Trott, KP, Bell, Bairstow, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Finn.....Give or take one or two depending on conditions, injuries etc.....

Score prediction - 3-1 to England.