England batsman Kevin Pietersen has risked the ire of Australian fans, after publicly demeaning Brisbane - the host city for the first Ashes Test.

England batsman Kevin Pietersen has risked the ire of Australian fans, after publicly demeaning Brisbane - the host city for the first Ashes Test.

Pietersen had been pictured, walking alone at the airport, on the front page of the Brisbane-based Courier Mail newspaper. The story headline read: "He's so arrogant not even his own team likes him."

He later responded on Twitter, claiming the article and related image will boost his ego: "I would have preferred a Sydney front page, to be honest. But I'll take Melbourne! No one has heard of Brisbane outside Australia."

The series opener will get underway in the Queensland capital on Thursday. Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney will host fixtures two, three, four and five respectively.

Meanwhile, Australia batsman Steven Smith is wary of the threat posed by England fast bowler Chris Tremlett.

Bowling coach David Saker has all but confirmed the presence of the tall Tremlett, who has taken 17 of his 49 Test wickets in Australia, in the playing XI.

"He obviously did a very good job for them the last time they were out here," said Smith. "He is definitely one we have to be wary of with his extra height and extra bounce.

"Their bowling attack is strong, all of them are experienced and we will have to bat well against them."

Wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior is set to be named in the team too. Prior was in doubt after injuring a calf muscle, but has recovered sufficiently.

"He is an important player for them and has been for a long time," added Smith. "He is certainly not one we take lightly, he can definitely get away from you with the bat so he is one we will have to target as well."