Manchester United and Leicester City raise the curtain on the Premier League season on Friday night at Old Trafford, and for the home side the new campaign will come as blessed relief following a turbulent summer.
Jose Mourinho's squad bears a similar face to that on display last season, with Brazilian midfielder Fred their only established signing alongside back-up goalkeeper Lee Grant and promising young full-back Diogo Dalot.
The Red Devils will also be partially affected by the late return of some of their players after successful World Cup campaigns, but some of them will be pushed into action by the manager due to a growing injury crisis which was increased during an indifferent run of form in their pre-season campaign.
Man Utd Injuries
United are without six players through injury alone for the opening game of the season, even overlooking those who may not yet be match fit following their late return to the camp.
Nemanja Matic has undergone surgery on an abdominal issue picked up at the World Cup, while Dalot has also been under the knife due to a knee problem. Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo also had surgeries after being injured on international duty, with Romero having missed Argentina's entire run in Russia as a result.
Antonio Valencia limped out of the pre-season draw with San Jose Earthquakes with a calf injury, while Ander Herrera is out after developing a problem during the loss to Bayern Munich last Sunday.
Man Utd Suspensions
Neither team has any suspension concerns carried over from the end of last season.
Possible Man Utd Starting Line-Up
Mourinho could well name a very similar line-up to the one which took the field against Bayern Munich last week, although he does have the option of calling in more than one of his late returners.
The likes of Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Young have had less than a week's training after their progress to the final weekend of the World Cup and all three could be considered.
With Herrera injured, Mourinho will be forced into at least one change, which will likely see him ask Pogba to step up and make a start, while Lukaku and Young may be given starts if the manager chooses to overlook Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw.
Despite the club failing to add a centre-back during the transfer window, Mourinho still has many options in that department, and Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are among the alternatives to Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof. Meanwhile, Matteo Darmian continues to deputise for Valencia despite the fact he is likely to leave before the month is out, and Andreas Pereira should make his first league start for the club after season-long loan spells at Granada and Valencia.
Leicester City Team News
Foxes fans were given the double boost on Thursday of confirmation of Harry Maguire's presence this season following United's interest and the announcement that Jamie Vardy has signed a new long-term contract.
Besides the news surrounding the England pair they have also had the injection of new signings Filip Benkovic and Caglar Soyuncu to add to a host of earlier purchases. Among them are former United centre-half Jonny Evans on a £3.5 million deal from relegated West Bromwich Albion, while Danny Ward has been signed from Liverpool for £12.5m as competition for long-term number one Kasper Schmeichel.
They also added £25m James Maddison from Norwich City and Ricardo Pereira from Porto for £22.5m, while Riyad Mahrez departed to Manchester City, to give Claude Puel's squad a fresh look heading into the new campaign following their ninth-place finish last time around.
TV Channel & Kick-off time
The match at Old Trafford kicks off at 8pm BST on Friday, with live coverage available in the UK on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event. In the U.S. the game will be shown on NBCSN at 3pm ET.
Best Opta Match facts
Manchester United are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games against Leicester City, winning four and drawing three, and have lost just one of the last 18 (W13 D4).
At Old Trafford, Leicester City have lost on seven of their last eight visits in the league (D1), scoring a total of just three goals in that period.
Man Utd have won their opening fixture more often than any other side in Premier League history (17).
The last time Man Utd and Leicester City met on the opening weekend of a Premier League campaign was back in 1998-99, with Man Utd coming back from 0-2 behind to draw 2-2 at Old Trafford.
This is only the second time in English Football League history that the top-flight season has kicked off on a Friday, and Leicester have been involved both times. The other occasion was last season, when Leicester lost 4-3 at Arsenal.
Man Utd forward Romelu Lukaku has scored four goals in his last six Premier League games against Leicester, though all of those strikes came while he was at Everton. Leicester were one of just three clubs the Belgian faced twice in the league last season, but failed to register a single goal or assist against (also Arsenal and Man City).
Man Utd’s Juan Mata has scored four goals in his last four Premier League appearances against Leicester, though only one of these has come at Old Trafford. Only against Norwich (5) has the Spaniard scored more Premier League goals than he has versus Leicester (4).