The 2019 Ashes get underway on 1st August as England look to regain the urn after a difficult series down under a couple of years ago.
Australia, with the controversial trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft back in the squad, are looking to win their first away Ashes series since 2001.
England come into the series off the back of a dramatic Test match win against Ireland.
After two batting collapses, Joe Root’s side snatched victory from the jaws of defeat thanks to a brilliant new ball spell from Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad as they dismissed Ireland for 38.
Consistency has been an issue for the Test side – it will be interesting to see how they adapt to the red-ball format after an intense World Cup. England are priced at 9/10 to regain the Ashes in 888sport’s cricket betting.
Without further ado, let's look at the five Ashes venues, starting with Edgbaston.
Home to perhaps the best cricket match ever, Edgbaston and the Ashes brings up memories of that astonishing 2005 Test match. A match half as good as that and this summer’s series will be off to a thrilling start.
Of the 14 Ashes Test matches played at Edgbaston, Australia have won just three. The most recent was an innings drubbing back in 2001, a series which the tourists completely dominated.
The next tour saw that dramatic two-run victory for the hosts. England won convincingly in 2015 as James Anderson skittled the Australians in the first innings of the match.
The Edgbaston pitch will give the bowlers more than a chance. The weather forecast doesn’t look great, meaning lateral movement in the air is probable, and spinners got plenty of assistance during the World Cup.
England are Evens in the Ashes 2019 odds to win the first Test. Getting off to a good start is crucial – it may well come down to which bowlers make best use of the conditions.
Of Lord’s 138 Test matches, which includes England’s recent victory over Ireland, 38 have been Ashes Test matches. The Home of Cricket has been Australia’s favourite English venue over the years, with the tourists winning 16 Tests of the 37 played.
From 1934 to 2009, England failed to win a single Ashes Test against the old enemy at the most famous cricket ground in the world.
Victory also followed for England in 2013, but they suffered a humiliating defeat in 2015 after Chris Rogers and Steve Smith scored 173 and 215 respectively.
While Anderson’s fitness remains a doubt for the first Test, the veteran opening bowler is expected to be back in time for Lord’s. His return will be significant, particularly if Australia manage to win in Edgbaston.
History doesn’t necessarily count for too much in a series like this, but touring sides often find another level when they walk through the Long Room.
Like Lord’s, Headingley has plenty of happy memories for Australian cricket.
The 2005 series didn’t venture to Yorkshire’s home ground, and while they lost after a brilliant Mark Butcher century in 2001, three of their last four Ashes matches at the ground have ended in an innings victory.
With the conditions and wicket traditionally favouring seam and swing bowlers, both teams will fancy their chances of taking 20 wickets cheaply in this series.
Australia did just that in 2009, dismissing England for 102 and 263 to win emphatically as Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Stuart Clark dominated with the ball. This Australian attack is a lot more dangerous than that one.
England’s fortunes at Headingley have been mixed in recent years. The Joe Root-led side haven’t played their that much, however, and the England skipper will be happy to return to his home ground alongside his Yorkshire teammate Jonny Bairstow.
Ashes history at Old Trafford is dominated by draws. England haven’t beaten the old enemy at the ground since the famous 1981 series, but only two Ashes Tests have been played there since 1997 and both ended in draws.
England were a few deliveries from victory in 2005, while Australia were in control in 2013 but rain forced it to a draw.
This will be England’s first Test at Old Trafford since 2017. The England side will be delighted to be returning to Lancashire’s new-look venue, having not lost a Test there since 2001, winning nine of the 11 matches played.
Many of those victories have been convincing ones, too. Depending on how you think this series will play out, Old Trafford may well be the decisive Test match.
England need to win the series to regain the urn – if Australia head to Old Trafford with a series lead, they can secure the Ashes by drawing this Test.
Our 2019 Ashes preview mentions that this may well be a bowlers’ series. Both teams have exceptional fast bowling attacks, but their batting line-ups are vulnerable.
The Oval will be the opportunity for the batsmen to get their own back after what could be a ball-dominated first four Tests.
Traditionally at least, the Oval is the most batting friendly pitch in this series. If either side head to south London needing a draw, they will be extremely confident.
Often a dead rubber, the Oval Test has been pretty evenly split between the two teams over the years. It was home to a dramatic finish in 2013, and Kevin Pietersen’s majestic Day Five knock in 2005.
The nature of the fifth Test match makes it unpredictable, with teams having to play in different manners depending on the situation.
England beat South Africa at the Oval in 2017 and defeated India in 2018. Both of those victories will give them confidence, but will that count for anything with the Ashes on the line?
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*