Manchester City open the 2015-2016 season at the Hawthorne with West Bromwich Albion as an opponent. A summer of departures and much debated singings (with more ink to spill in the coming days, hopefully) leave the Blues with plenty of optimism going into Monday's match.
The club goes into Monday with a sense of structure knowing that manager Manuel Pelligrini has secured himself a renewed contract. Pelligrini is fully aware of what, and who awaits if he doesn't produce, but the game is played on the pitch, and that's what ultimately matters.
With Sergio Aguero and David Silva confirmed to be involved after getting over a stomach virus during the week, the Citizens should be at near full strength for the match. Silva, who has scored in three of his last four matches against West Brom looks to add to that tally. Fernando also has a decent record against the Baggies, as both of his goals and two assists have come against the side. The key question is whether or not Fernando will see time, as his midfield counterpart in Fernandinho will likely be resting and Fabian Delph still ailing from that hamstring knock picked up in Melbourne. Who knows, maybe we will see Zuculini.
For West Brom, Serge Gnabry will not be ready in time for the match, and old City favorite Joleon Lescott will be likely absent due to injury, although he's fighting to get to full fitness in order to face his former club. West Brom will feature young star Saido Berahino and newly acquired Ricky Lambert, so there will be the potential for goals if service is there. From a managerial standpoint, this will be the first time Tony Pulis is in charge of a side on opening day since his time at Stoke, and the Baggies are in desperate need of a turn around from their form on previous season debuts, where they've only seen one victory in the last five seasons.
Expect City to come out on top, they've beaten the Baggies seven consecutive times, and given the quality of the side, here's to a great start.
For predicted lineups, go here to see how we think City will come out on opening day.