Australia boast just one more win than England, with both countries scheduled to contest the 68th bout over the winter and into the new year.
Graeme Swann, who England have taken great care to ensure is fit for a five-match campaign, will be a key figure on his home patch this week.
Swann, along with captain Alastair Cook, James Anderson, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Stuart Broad and Jonathan Trott, is bidding to win a third successive Ashes series but his previous experience of Trent Bridge suggests the series may be a slow burner for him.
Asked if he expects the ball to turn, he said: "I'm not sure it will here.
"I know Trent Bridge like the back of my hand, and it could be dry for four months and it wouldn't be a turning pitch.
"Having said that, most teams don't have left-armers.
"So if (Mitchell) Starc and whoever else they play can kick up a bit of dust, that might make it a bit more enjoyable to bowl spin."
Australia captain Michael Clarke meanwhile has expressed his surprise at Nick Compton's demotion for the Trent Bridge Test.
Compton opened for England in nine consecutive Tests and hit back-to-back centuries on the tour of New Zealand, but he was axed after struggling in the return series against the Black Caps.
The prodigious Joe Root will instead partner captain Alastair Cook at the crease in what will be his maiden Test as an opener.
Clarke saw plenty of Compton as he played both tour matches, once for Somerset and then on a one-off guest appearance for Worcestershire, when he hit two half-centuries.
"We haven't bowled to Joe yet but we didn't manage to get Nick out that easily, so I'm happy he's not playing to be honest," Clarke said.
"Nick has showed in the last couple of four day matches he has a very good defence and I'm surprised he's not in the team for the first Test."