Aston Villa at Stoke: We could see a very different team start tomorrow

We've waited a long time. Well, in the grand scheme of things not that long, but it feels like a long time and while the World Cup helped, it wasn't the same. Tomorrow sees the start of a new Premier League season and with that comes all the anticipation, hope, excitement and opportunity.

And it would be easy to write off this season today. To a large extent, it is already over. We're not going to win the League. The best we can hope for is some silverware in the League or FA Cup, but those chances are slim too. For us, the excitement comes in can we stay in the League. It's quite sad.

But, you don't pick a club to support and turn it on or off. When you're in, you're in and it's really hard to get out. Like it or not, it's about to begin and by the end of this season, I have a feeling I might have a few more grey hairs.

But all I want to see is the football get better. All I want to see is us pass and look for space. I want to see that we've worked on corners and throw ins and that there is something about how we approach games. I want to see us go out and want to win games.

Is it too much to ask?

I for one don't think it's too much to ask, but it is sad. But this is old ground. The only thing that really matters is Stoke tomorrow. On Sunday, the only thing that will matter is the next match against Newcastle.

And tomorrow is going to be interesting. We're probably going to see Bent play after many thought he'd never play for us again. There is even talk that Hutton might start. Don't be surprised to see Given start if both of those do - anything could happen.

It does raise questions though if they do start as it was clear as day the manager didn't want them. You could ask why he didn't and what has changed his mind. Or you could just accept that he came to the club with some decent players, but thought he could do better and couldn't.

We'll also probably see a new right back start tomorrow and a new central defender. We might even see Joe Cole terrorising the Stoke defence. We might. Everything is possible. We might even see Jack Grealish start if the manager is truly feeling optimistic.

Updates and fantasy football

So, with all that written, we wait until tomorrow. I'll be back around lunch tomorrow with everything as it happens including team news and anything else we learn.

But in terms of tomorrow, I'm desperately hoping for a win. I think we can win and not just because it's 11 v 11 but because we've had a summer to change things around and if we do it right, I believe we have the quality int he side to beat Stoke. No disrespect to Stoke, but man for man, I'd have our starting eleven over their starting eleven.

So before all that, just a reminder we have a fantasy football game this season. It's a little different than usual, but it's going to be fun. Click here to see details of the league and the game, register, then join the circle. Prizes for the winner.