Relegated Hull City travel to Aston Villa on Saturday evening as the two kick off their Championship campaigns.
While Steve Bruce has assembled what looks to be a squad strong enough to challenge for promotion, new Hull boss Leonid Slutsky is tasked with picking up the pieces following the club's relegation from the Premier League last season.
Villa are heavy favourites to pick up a victory in their first outing but will be coming up against the unknown in Slutsky's side, who enjoyed a steady pre-season campaign.
With both coaches starting their first full season at their clubs, the pressure will be on both sets of players to deliver on Saturday.
|Game||Aston Villa vs Hull City|
|Date||Saturday, August 5|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the UK, the match will be available to watch live on television on Sky Sports Football and by stream via Sky Go and NOW TV.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Main Event||Sky Go, NOW TV|
If you live outside of the UK, you will be able to stream all of your club's non-televised matches live through the Football League's new iFollow service this season.
A subscription to the platform costs £110 for the 2017-18 campaign and will grant you full access to up to 46 games. For more details, see the EFL's website.
SQUAD & TEAM NEWS
|Position||Aston Villa players|
|Goalkeepers||Sam Johnstone, Jed Steer, Mark Bunn|
|Defenders||Ritchie De Laet, Neil Taylor, Christopher Samba, James Chester, James Bree, Micah Richards, Alan Hutton, Jordan Amavi, Tommy Elphick, John Terry, Ahmed Elmohamady|
|Midfielders||Glenn Whelan, Leandro Bacuna, Henri Lansbury, Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane, Mile Jedinak, André Green, Birkir Bjarnason, Albert Adomah, Gary Gardner|
|Forwards||Scott Hogan, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Jonathan Kodjia, Ross McCormack|
John Terry is set to partner James Chester in the heart of the Villa defence, with Glenn Whelan coming in to strengthen the middle of the park
Scott Hogan is likely to be deployed as a lone striker, with new signing Ahmed Elmohamady and academy graduate Andre Green either side of him.
Possible line-up: Johnstone; Hutton, Terry, Chester, Taylor; Elmohamady, Hourihane, Whelan, Lansbury, Green; Hogan
|Position||Hull City players|
|Goalkeepers||Allan McGregor, David Marshall, Will Mannion|
|Defenders||Moses Odubajo, Michael Dawson, Brian Lenihan, Ola Aina, Michael Hector, Ondřej Mazuch|
|Midfielders||David Meyler, Sam Clucas, Markus Henriksen, Ryan Mason, Daniel Batty, Greg Olley, Evandro, Kevin Stewart, James Weir|
|Forwards||Abel Hernández, Kamil Grosicki, Will Keane, Adama Diomandé, Jarrod Bowen, Greg Luer, Fraizer Campbell|
Hull's thin squad could see two loanees start in defence, with Michael Hector and Ola Aina joining on season-long loans from Chelsea.
Abel Hernandez will occupy the striker role, with Fraizer Campbell likely to start down the left wing.
Possible line-up: McGregor; Lenihan, Dawson, Hector, Aina; Stewart, Clucas, Henriksen; Bowen, Campbell; Hernandez
BETTING & MATCH ODDS
Villa are priced at 21/20 to win the tie, with Hull outsiders at 13/5. Dabblebet are also offering 12/5 on the draw.
If you fancy the home side to take the points, with Terry and his defensive team-mates to keep a clean sheet, Villa to win to nil is a tempting 2/1.
New Villa captain Terry insists the Midlands club will settle for nothing less than promotion to the Premier League this season, though a quick start is crucial to keep the supporters on side. Despite substantial money spent over the course of last season, Villa failed to finish in the top half of the Championship table and Bruce, and indeed Terry, will be demanding for a season of consistency this time round.
“Lifting the trophy is what we want to be doing at the end of the season. Our ambition is to get up," Terry said in the build-up to the season opener. "The manager with his experience he can bring and offer to the group, it’s impeccable, really. We are going to be looking for promotion as we have everything is in place to do it: the manager, the squad, the facilities, the stadium the fans.”
Unlike Villa, Hull's situation ahead of the new campaign is less than ideal.
Former Russia manager Slutsky has been appointed to head the rebuilding job and has so far added five signings to his depleted squad.
Stewart, on loan from Liverpool, Campbell, a free signing after his release from Crystal Palace, and the aforementioned Chelsea duo Hector and Aina are all likely to play an important roles, with Ondřej Mazuch also in contention for a starting spot at Villa. The Czech Republic centre-back joins after two seasons at Sparta Prague.
With a thin squad and questions over the future of Kamil Grosicki - the experienced Poland international linked with a move away from the KCOM Stadium in the coming weeks - Slutsky has a lot of work to do.
A trip to Villa isn't an ideal start for the Russian manager, though he will still fancy his side's chances come Saturday evening.