It really can't be overstated how important a win in this game would be for Aston Villa; last season it took 14 games to reach 12 points, at which point the club was 17th in the table and -11 on goal difference. Three points today would put the team on a pace for 65, which would have been good enough for sixth place last year and sufficient to secure European football in every season since the introduction of the Europa League. That's not to say beating Hull City should lead anyone to contact their travel agent, but it is to say that such a start would be the club's best since the 2009/10 season and reason for genuine optimism that the corner has finally been turned.
Unfortunately, getting a win is going to be far from simple. Hull City has played very well on their return to the Premier League, and there's every reason to think they're going to give Villa a run for their money in this one. The Delph-Huddlestone battle in midfield could be quite interesting to watch, as will Villa's ability to create an attacking threat with Christian Benteke still out due to injury. Most Villa fans have become accustomed to being let down over the past few years; how nice of a change would it be if the team could break that habit this afternoon?
Aston Villa Starting XI
Brad Guzan; Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark, Leandro Bacuna, Antonio Luna; Karim El Ahmadi, Ashley Westwood, Fabian Delph; Andi Weimann, Gabby Agbonlahor, Libor Kozak
Aston Villa Bench
Jed Steer, Nathan Baker, Joe Bennett, Chris Herd, Aleksandar Tonev, Yacouba Sylla, Jordan Bowery
Hull City Starting XI
Hull City Bench
Steve Harper, Alex Bruce, Paul McShane, David Meyler, George Boyd, Yannick Sagbo, Nick Proschwitz