Middlesbrough are pre-season promotion favourites, manager but Garry Monk is preaching the importance of patience as Boro readjust to Championship life.
On the corresponding weekend at the start of last season, Boro entertained Stoke City in their Premier League opener.
Just three starters from that afternoon are likely to line up from the off tonight.
A squad overhaul, which is not yet completed, has been taking place in a hectic summer, with Monk also stressing that time will be needed for his team to gel and develop, with the Boro boss speaking from experience.
In his previous job at Leeds United, it took time for the Whites to evolve and while he hopes that Boro’s development will be quicker, he is conscious that things certainly will not happen overnight.
Monk said: “We are trying to work as quickly as possible and everyone is putting extremely hard work into it. But from my experience, you do need time.
“It has been a big transition of the squad. You have to consider from last season where there was that feeling of confidence around the club being lowered and it was a difficult season for the club.
“You have to rebuild that side of it as well. Then there’s the transition of the squad with players, a new manager and new ideas.
“So it is a lot of work and elements which go into it. You want to do it as quickly as possible – that is what we are working towards and we are working hard. But it does take time.
“In the mean time, while you are trying to get it to the level you want it, you are trying to make sure you can pick up good results and build that confidence.”
Confidence and squad familiarity is much less of an issue with opponents Sheffield United today as Monk is quick to acknowledge.
He added: “They will be having that determination to prove themselves and show what a good team they are.
“They had a fantastic season last year and the manager did an excellent job there and they had a good result in the first game and will be confident and we have to be wary of that.”