Aston Villa's preparations for the upcoming 18/19 Championship season haven't ran smoothly. With talk of administration and financial insecurity hanging over the club, the playing staff have simply had to 'keep calm and carry on' while the boardroom seems to undergo turmoil.
Still, that cannot stop the upcoming season from kicking off, and that's exactly what we tick over to today, with the release of the 18/19 Championship season fixtures.
Aston Villa will play Hull City to start their season for the second season in a row. The fixture will take place away at the KCOM Stadium on August the 6th.
They will finish their season against Norwich City at home. The traditional Boxing Day match will see Villa visit Swansea. On New Year's Day, Villa will take on QPR at home.
The aim of discussion in regards to the fixtures announcement is to find out the 'difficult runs' and the simple patches. At this early stage, it's almost pointless discussing that. Especially after Aston Villa shone during some difficult runs while collapsing in their 'easy' fixtures.
We won't really know at all how Aston Villa will be shaping up for the season until a fairly large chunk of it is over and done with, and even then - early catastrophe can be removed by a January revival. All in all, we'll simply have to take it a game at a time. Next season? It starts now.