The time for talking is over and we are very, very close to the start of the 2017/18 Ashes series in Australia.

England go into the series as the holders of the urn but are big underdogs as they face the Aussies in their own back yard.

Before the action gets underway, four of the Read network writers; Alex Newton, Dan Wilcox, Michael Oliver and Ste Hoare, have made their predictions for the series.

Who’ll be England’s best batsman? Who’ll take the most wickets for the Aussies? All that, and more, has been covered by the guys as they make their final predictions:

Chris Hyde/Getty Images Sport Start slideshow