The Dean Smith derby is handed a Premier League debut on Saturday afternoon as the Aston Villa manager plays host to former side Brentford at Villa Park.
Three games into the new campaign and both sides have two victories split between the top flight and EFL Cup. However, that is where the similarities end.
While Villa parted ways with their talismanic captain Jack Grealish, it was a pre-season where newly-promoted Brentford didn't have to sell any of their stars. Villa's groggy start to the campaign was simply a continuation of their dramatic tailing-off last term, while the Bees have lost just one of their last 18 games.
Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming collision of these contrasting sides.
How to watch Aston Villa vs Brentford on TV in the UK/US
When is kick off? Saturday 28 August, 15:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Villa Park
What TV channel is it on? fuboTV (US)
Who's the referee? Peter Bankes
Who's the VAR? Lee Mason
Aston Villa team news
While Trezeguet and Morgan Sanson continue to recover from last season's knee injuries, Bertrand Traore is likely to be sidelined until the conclusion of the September international break following a hamstring tweak he suffered on the opening day.
Smith admitted he was 'hopeful' Ollie Watkins could begin his campaign against his former side on Saturday, although offered no guarantees. New summer arrival Leon Bailey occupies a similar fitness vagary after a flare up of a lingering problem.
Brentford team news
Brentford, in comparison, can boast an almost entirely injury-free squad.
However, without a return date in sight, Josh Dasilva's agonising wait for a Premier League debut - despite more than a decade spent rising through Arsenal's academy - goes on.
Aston Villa vs Brentford predicted lineups
Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Young; McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey; Buendia, Ings, El Ghazi
Brentford: Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Canos, Onyeka, Norgaard, Janelt, Henry; Mbuemo, Toney
Aston Villa vs Brentford head-to-head record
The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II happened more recently than Aston Villa's last victory against Brentford. That 2-1 FA Cup replay win back in early 1953 marked Villa's most recent triumph in this rarely played fixture.
The sides have met just six times thereafter, all coming in the past five years and split neatly into three Brentford home wins and three draws at Villa Park. In fact, the Bees have never won a competitive fixture at Villa Park in their history; drawing five and losing the other two.
Aston Villa vs Brentford score prediction
Another deadlock may be on the horizon - though that would still represent a mightily positive result for a Brentford side perennially punching above their weight in this division.
Even though they were in the Championship together two years ago, Aston Villa's wage bill is almost five times larger than that of their upcoming opponents, according to Spotrac.
Yet Brentford, the team with the Premier League's lowest budget, have made a habit of skewing the traditional hierarchy, and scarcely look like slowing down any time soon.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-1 Brentford