Hull v Blackpool, English Championship, Friday 19.45pm
IT'S seemed a long time coming but the English season crackles to life on Friday night.
Pre-season hasn't been that long really but the early kick-off by the Scots has left us craving a return to normal.
And as someone cruelly said you know it's the start of the English season when Rangers are out of the Champions League. Sad but true.
Hull and Blackpool have the honour of getting the action underway with a Championship clash that's live on Sky Sports.
Blackpool have followed Hull back down to the Championship and after spells in the top flight both sides have seen better days.
Hull struggled on their return last season but things started to look up after the arrival of Nigel Pearson as boss and I can see them getting off to a flier.
Blackpool look sure to suffer a relegation hangover and certainly things didn't look right in pre-season.
The loss of Charlie Adam to Liverpool is massive while DJ Campbell and David Vaughan have also left without being adequately replaced.
There is of course the Ian Holloway factor but he faces a huge task and this game may have come a couple of weeks too early.
Take Hull at a biggest 11-8 with boylesports and consider them to score first at 5-6 with Stan James.
Pearson is likely to go with Matt Fryatt and Dele Adebola up front and I'll be looking to the latter to break the deadlock. He is 15-2 at Chandler.
Blackpool are a biggest 11-5 with the likes of bodog and totesport and both teams to score pays 8-11 at bet365. The Tangerines were one of the first picks in this market last season but remember Adam was involved in half of their goals.
On arrival is veteran striker Kevin Phillips from Birmingham and he should still be able to a job at this level. He is 15-2 at Chandler to score first.
Hull to score first
(5-6, Stan James)