Hull City v Aston Villa preview

Two sides that will still have memories of life in the Premier League go head-to-head in the Championship on Monday night, as Hull City host Aston Villa at the KCOM Stadium.

A time of change at Villa Park

When Villa lost in the Championship play-off final at the end of last season, not many outside the club would have realised the true ramifications of that defeat to Fulham at Wembley. Skipper John Terry has moved on to pastures new and Jack Grealish looks to be on his way out, as the process of trying to fall back into Financial Fair Play continues. New owners in over the summer have decided to stick with manager Steve Bruce and this the first of a number of positive decisions the Villa fans will be hoping of the new tenants at Villa Park. Bruce is one of the most experienced managers in the Championship and the continuity of having the former Manchester United skipper in the dugout will stand them in good stead this season.

A season to forget for the Tigers

Hull endured a tough campaign in the Championship last season and the hierarchy at the KCOM will be hoping some big lessons will have been learned, after they finished down in 18th place in the table. Nigel Adkins, after brief and unsuccessful spells at Reading and Sheffield United, has a real opportunity to do something special at Hull, but it will be an uphill battle considering the competition in the Championship. Summer signings have looked positive at the KCOM and those fresh faces will need to hit the ground running, starting on Monday night.

The Steve Bruce derby

This encounter is bound to have a little extra spice considering Bruce has managed to both clubs. After a tough end to his time at Hull, it is pretty certain Bruce would like nothing more than to get one over his former employers, although he probably won’t openly admit it. Grealish is still expected to feature despite the reported interest from Tottenham Hotspur, but strikers Scott Hogan (groin) and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (ankle) miss out. As for Hull, winger Kamil Grosicki and midfielder Jackson Irvine will both miss the encounter after their efforts at the World Cup in Russia, but new defender Reece Burke is expected to make his Tigers debut. The first weekend of the Championship has already thrown up some shock results, with two of the three teams relegated from the Premier League last season, suffering defeats. A draw at 3.20 could well be on the cards, as two teams that could be pretty evenly matched look to avoid an opening game defeat. However, looking at Hull’s dismal record in this fixture, the 2.55 for the Aston Villa win looks the most appealing bet. Hull have won just one of their past 14 games against Villa in all competitions, with their last success coming back in February 2015. Villa have found it tricky in recent visits to the KCOM but Bruce’s side should just be able to edge this one to give their fans, who have had a long summer, something to cheer about.