The wicket in Manchester may have been moved by 90 degrees since Australia last played there in the nerve-jangling drawn 2005 test but it is still expected to turn and there is an outside chance both sides will play two spinners.
The ground where Shane Warne bowled his "ball of the century" to bamboozle Mike Gatting in 1993 and where Jim Laker took 19 wickets in 1956 is calling out for another spin hero and England's Graeme Swann is the only man who really fits the bill.
England, on the verge of a third successive Ashes series win after almost 20 years of previous Australian dominance, have included Monty Panesar in their squad as they mull two spinners but it is more likely Australia who will plump for the gamble.
Ashton Agar, 19, has made more impact with the bat than ball after scoring 98 on debut in the first test at Trent Bridge and fellow spinner Nathan Lyon, with 76 wickets in 22 tests, looks set to come in either as a replacement or accompaniment.
Australia, who have lost their last six tests, need to win to have any chance of regaining the Ashes with a draw no good as it would leave England two up with two to play. A level series means the holders keep the urn.
Whether the extra need for victory makes the tourists go for two spinners remains to be seen, especially after a slightly injured Agar failed to threaten with the ball in the second test at Lord's, where England won by 347 runs.
Pundits expect Michael Clarke's men just to go with Lyon and replace injured fast bowler James Pattinson with Mitchell Starc, dropped after the first test, or Jackson Bird.
Both took two wickets in the drawn three-day match against Sussex which finished on Sunday. Australia may worry left-armer Starc will scuff up the wicket perfectly for expert off-spinner Swann to trouble right handers just like left-handed batsmen.


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