Sri Lanka got clobbered in the Test series leading up to the five one-dayers, and will have a difficult time avoiding a series defeat in the five matches scheduled for the next two weeks.
Sri Lanka are fielding a side most Australian fans will not have heard of, while the hosts have announced a side for the first game that has some pundits calling it a second string line-up, much to skipper George Bailey's irritation.
Batsman Aaron Finch will make his debut, as will Usman Khawaja and Test batsman Phil Hughes, meaning the top order is well short of experience. Bailey is captaining the team in place of Michael Clarke, who is being rested.
On the keeping front, Brad Haddin has been recalled after a sterling period on the domestic scene, while Matthew Wade is rested for the first few games. Haddin will be keen to make sure his chance counts if he is to keep Wade away.
The visitors are beset with injuries and must cope without veteran wicketkeeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara, who injured his hand during the Tests. Kushal Perera has been drafted in to take Sanga's place behind the stumps.
Good news is that Ajantha Mendis is back in the side, after he picked up an injury during the World Twenty20. He is a prolific wicket-taker, and the rookie Aussies will need to be cautious against him, as well as the in-form Lasith Malinga.
Interestingly, Sri Lanka have won the last three ODIs they've played in Melbourne, so they could well get the series off to a winning start if history is proven correct.
Another interesting fact: Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene has more ODI caps than the entire Australian team combined.
The hosts don't have many senior players in the side, so it could be up to paceman Mitchell Johnson to lead in terms of experience. He is the only Aussie player to have more than 100 caps, and the MCG wicket is conducive to his pace and bounce.
Sri Lanka will also be looking to their bowling spearhead, as Lasith Malinga has been in cracking form in the Big Bash League in recent weeks. His vicious bouncer to Marlon Samuels would have been more newsworthy if Shane Warne hadn't stolen the spotlight.
Last Five Head-To-Head Results
2012: 3rd final: Australia won by 16 runs in Adelaide
2012: 2nd final: Sri Lanka won by eight wickets in Adelaide
2012: 1st final: Australia won by 15 runs in Brisbane
2012: Sri Lanka won by nine runs in Melbourne
2012: Sri Lanka won by three wickets in Hobart
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Australia: George Bailey, Ben Cutting, Xavier Doherty, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Phil Hughes, David Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja, Clint McKay, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Angelo Mathews, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Ajantha Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath, Kushal Perera, Shaminda Eranga.
First ODI: 11 January, Melbourne
Second ODI: 13 January, Adelaide
Third ODI: 18 January, Brisbane
Fourth ODI: 20 January, Sydney
Fifth ODI: 23 January, Hobart