Home advantage for England
The whole series should be a close one, and I’m going with the home side to take first honours.
Andy Morris is leaning towards England to take out the first ODI against Australia.
England hope to set down a marker for the entire series against Australia by beating them in the first ODI at the Rose Bowl.
And they are in good shape to do so, with the Aussies having to go into the clash without several of their first choice players.
If both these sides were at full strength, it would be a tough call, but perhaps home advantage plus the injury situation gives England a slight edge here.
Paul Collingwood's remarks that England would be really trying their hardest in this match cut no ice with Ricky Ponting, who quite rightly inferred that it meant some teams would go into games not really being too bothered about the result.
Australia always go into every game desperate to win, and it would have surprised many in their camp to hear Collingwood's interview.
Injury to Brad Haddin means Tim Paine will come into the side, with Doug Bollinger leading what is an inexperienced attack, lacking Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus.
Ricky Ponting's massive experience will help boost those around him who are relatively new to this sort of stage, while it will be the perfect stage for Cameron White - who scored a century on this ground when the teams met last September - to show his colours again.
Andrew Strauss and wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter did well as an opening partnership against Scotland at the weekend, and the match also benefitted Stuart Broad as it was his first since the World Twenty20 final.
England hold the ascendancy at the moment in terms of having possession of the Ashes and having won the Twenty20 event, so they will be looking to achieve a kind of sweep.
It's certainly unlikely that Australia will have the kind of superiority they enjoyed last September, when they won the series 6-1. England are a better team now, and the likes of Eoin Morgan, Tim Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad will have the chance to shine and stake their claims to a long-term place.
The Aussies will have to hope that Bollinger, Ryan Harris and Clint McKay can step up - they have only 45 ODIs between them.
Ponting is refusing to let the injury situation be used as an excuse, saying: "We pride ourselves in our depth of squad and the attitude we show when we play for Australia.
"We have managed to win some very good series in adversity. When we are faced with a bit of adversity, the guys normally put their hands up and leap to a new level."
The whole series should be a close one, and I'm going with the home side to take first honours.