Middlesbrough’s seven year exile from the Premier League ended in May as they were promoted from the Championship after finishing second to Burnley.
The road to the Promised Land hadn’t been smooth, however, and manager Aitor Karanka briefly walked out at one stage during the run-in after a training ground bust-up with his players.
Boro eventually resolved their issues before sneaking over the line on the final day of the season.
Since then things have got very exciting on Teesside, with a host of big name players signing up for a Premier League adventure in the north east.
The question remains, though, how will Victor Valdes and Alvaro Negredo fancy a relegation six pointer on a cold Tuesday night?
Reasons to be cheerful:
Of the three promoted squads Middlesbrough’s looks most capable of staying in the division. Negredo has scored goals in the Premier League before while the experienced Valdes should prove to be a reassuring figure at the back. Marten de Roon is a tough-tackling midfielder while the likes of Stuart Downing will relish another crack at the bigtime. The opening fixtures are relatively kind so should give the club an opportunity to get some early points on the board.
Reasons to be fearful:
If the pressure got to Karanka when his side were winning most weeks how will he cope if the season takes a bad turn?
Marten de Roon (Atalanta, £12m), Viktor Fischer (Ajax, £3.8m), Bernardo Espinosa (Sporting Gijon, free), Jordan McGhee (Hearts, loan), Victor Valdes (Free), Alvaro Negredo (Valencia, loan), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, free).
Out the door:
Jonathan Woodgate (released), Damia Abella (released), Rhys Williams (Perth Glory, free), Jonathan Burn (Kilmarnock, loan), Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock, free), Luke Coddington (Huddersfield, free), Andre Bennett (released), Conor Ripley (Oldham, loan).
Álvaro Negredo – Boro’s survival hopes will depend on them being able to get enough goals and their hopes rest on the former Manchester City striker.
One to watch:
Ben Gibson – The former England under-21 defender is still only 23 but has already played more than 100 times for his home town club.
First five games:
Stoke City (H), Sunderland (A), West Brom (A), Crystal Palace (H), Everton (A) - Live on BT Sport 1.
Click on your favourite club's name below for BT Sport's full preview:
Arsenal, Bournemouth, Burnley, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Hull City, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United.