The season starts in North London for Aston Villa. Blogger Matt Turvey looks at what is in store for the Villains in Paul Lambert's second season.
Here it is. Everything we have finally been waiting for. No, not a phone call from Rihanna begging for us back, but the start of the Premier League season.
For some, it is a chance to see a new Aston Villa side competing to finish higher than in the past three years. For others, it will feel like yet another season where the team will struggle at the wrong end of the table.
Right now, the future is unwritten. Against Arsenal, Villa have the second best record at the Emirates - behind Chelsea - so there could well be a point or more to be taken. It also appears that several Arsenal players will miss the game, though Arsene Wenger's ability to obfuscate who is or isn't fit is well known.
We've seen in the last few friendlies that Villa's team certainly has goals in it. I've said previously that friendly results don't count for anything - and I stand by that - but scoring three goals against a team who got to the quarter-finals of the Champions League was a good thing to see. Villa weren't perfect in the game - who is - but there was a solidity that showed the team was learning to work together.
Working together will be the key to Villa's success this time around, even if "success" is measured in far less glorious circumstances than when former manager Martin O'Neill took the club to a sixth-placed glass ceiling.
The success of Jores Okore, Villa's new Danish centre half, will also be significant when it comes to how Villa do. Last season, Ron Vlaar struggled to have a solid first-choice partner with Ciaran Clark prone to shirt pulling and Nathan Baker sadly often anonymous.
If Okore can match Vlaar's pacy way of defending, Villa will manage to concede less - something I'm sure all Villa fans would be glad to see.
So, as we are within touching distance of kick-off, the season starts again. Though Villa have struggled for the past few years, many will be hoping this season has a little more happiness than we have recently managed, ideally starting with a point or more on opening day in North London - for me, a point will be a suitable reward if Villa can keep on the attacking foot.
You can follow Matt Turvey’s regular opinions at his own site, Aston Villa Life at www.astonvillalife.com, via the site’s Twitter account @astonvillalife, or via his own Twitter account @MatthewSTurvey.