Huddersfield Town and Burnley get the new Championship campaign underway with a showdown at the John Smith’s Stadium on Friday night.
Both clubs have appointed new managers during the summer, with Danny Schofield and Vincent Kompany in charge of the Terriers and Clarets respectively.
There was a time when everyone associated with Huddersfield would have envisaged preparing for a return to the Premier League given their efforts during 2021-22.
However, a Championship playoff final defeat to Nottingham Forest has led to another campaign in the second tier and head coach Carlos Corberan opting to resign from his position.
Rather than bring in a fresh face, the Terriers hierarchy decided to hand Schofield his first full-time opportunity as the senior man in the dugout, reward for his influence behind the scenes during Corberan’s reign.
As it stands, the appointment will naturally divide opinion, but Huddersfield chiefs cannot be criticised too heavily with Corberan’s decision coming as late as July 7.
Supporters will also be wary of a slow start in the wake of Harry Toffolo and Lewis O’Brien having both signed for Nottingham Forest, and first-day-of-the-season enthusiasm may be required to challenge their opening opponents.
That is despite the upheaval which has taken place at Turf Moor, a natural occurrence with Sean Dyche now long gone from the dugout and the club losing their Premier League status.
Nevertheless, while a ball is yet to be kicked in a competitive game, Vincent Kompany has made an array of eye-catching signings, focusing on youth and up-and-coming EFL players.
The departures of Nick Pope, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee and Nathan Collins means that the defence will have a considerably different look to it during what feel like a marathon campaign back in the Championship.
However, there is also excitement about the fresh start that many fans will feel was required, particularly under a figure like Kompany who will not settle for second best.
With Schofield overseeing the first-team friendly with Bolton Wanderers last weekend while another Huddersfield XI faced Tranmere Rovers, the expectation is that the majority of the team from that game will start on Friday.
However, Matty Pearson sustained an injury during the early stages versus the Trotters and may not be passed fit for this fixture.
On Saturday, Jonathan Hogg dropped back into the middle of defence, and that is an option here with Connor Mahoney potentially being brought into the midfield.
As an alternative, Rarmani Edmonds-Green could act as a straight replacement for Pearson, allowing for Hogg to remain in midfield.
Burnley’s starting lineup is more of an unknown given the amount of fresh faces which have made their way to the club.
Goalkeeper Arijanet Muric may be named between the sticks after his arrival from Manchester City, with Taylor Harwood-Bellis, CJ Egan-Riley, Josh Cullen and Samuel Bastien also in line to make their debuts.
Huddersfield Town possible starting lineup:
Nicholls; Turton, Edmonds-Green, Lees, Ruffels; Hogg, Russell; Thomas, Holmes, Koroma; Ward
Burnley possible starting lineup:
Muric; Roberts, Egan-Riley, Harwood-Bellis, Taylor; Cork, Cullen; Brownhill, Bastien; Barnes, Rodriguez