Aston Villa barely survived last season thanks to their talismanic captain Jack Grealish.
The good news for Dean Smith is that the England international is back, despite transfer speculation, fresh from signing a new contract.
A good summer in the transfer market, too, provides optimism there will be less drama in their bid to remain in the top tier once more.
That goal could be seen last season in their opening opponents last term, as Sheffield United comfortably survived, defying all expectations under Chris Wilder.
In an intriguing opener, with Blades desperate to bounce back after being handily beaten by Wolves, here’s all you need to know about the game.
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When is it?
The match kicks off at 18:15 pm on Monday, 21 September at Villa Park.
How can I watch it?
The game will be shown live on Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Main Event and Ultra HD. Subscribers can also watch the game live on the Sky Go app – coverage begins at 5pm.
If you’re not a Sky customer you can grab a NOWTV Day Pass here to watch without a subscription.
Emiliano Martinez is “ready to play” after joining from Arsenal, fellow new signings Matthew Cash and Ollie Watkins could start too. Bjorn Engels (thigh), Wesley (knee) and Tom Heaton (knee) are out.
John Lundstram and Ethan Ampadu will push for a start in midfield and at the back respectively, though Wilder has a full squad to choose from.
Aston Villa: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett, McGinn, Douglas,Hourihane, Trezeguet, Watkins, Grealish
Sheffield United: Ramsdale, Basham, Egan, O’Connell, Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens, McBurnie, Sharp
Aston Villa: 8/5
Sheffield United: 9/5
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