Press Association Sport identifies where they can pin their hopes of a resurgence and where they could fail.
>> Mitchell Johnson is as inconsistent as he is brilliant. Australia are hoping he is simply a changed man at the age of 32. But the lethal fast bowler’s track record, stretching back eight years now to his international debut, suggests he may not be able to sustain the match-winning standards he has set in Brisbane and Adelaide.
>> England have some proven world-class batsmen who have yet to play to their potential in this series. Alastair Cook is well capable of leading a fightback from the front as he has shown countless times. Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell ought to be making more runs too and may well be about to start.
>> England have won just once in 12 attempts in Perth and not since 1978, when Mike Brearley’s non-Ashes tourists were far too good for understrength hosts without their best team because of World Series. It is hard to see why this team should succeed where almost all others have failed.
>> Only Don Bradman’s 1936-37 Australians have ever recovered from 2-0 down to win an Ashes series. Even if England could somehow derail their hosts at the WACA, history suggests the road to redemption would still be long and rocky.