The action begins in several hours, as of this writing, at 3 p.m. CEST (= 7 a.m. ET).
The Russians are the top seed, with a team average rating of 2768 (middle-aged folks like me can remember a time not all that long ago when not even one person, except for the retired Bobby Fischer, had a rating anywhere near that figure), with the United States just a hair behind at 2765. The defending champions from China are a very strong third seed, with a rating average of 2740, while the top team from the host nation, Azerbaijan, is fourth with a 2717 rating. Other notables include India, which is still 9th despite Viswanathan Anand's customary absence, and Norway, which does have Carlsen and is seeded 12th.
The most noteworthy absence is the Armenian team thanks to their perpetual conflict with Azerbaijan, and on the individual level (aside from Anand and Aronian) Boris Gelfand and Vassily Ivanchuk (playing checkers?!) will also be missed.
More info here, and on the women's event too.