In a year that has been the complete opposite of the norm, the beginning of the 2020/21 campaign follows that trend, with the EFL Cup kicking off competitive action for clubs outside the top-flight.
It has been 47 days since Barnsley last played on home soil and both the hosts and Nottingham Forest will still clearly remember the dramatic late drama that made an almighty difference at both ends of the Sky Bet Championship table.
With a pre-season to prepare, albeit a short one, both clubs will be eager to kick start there campaigns. Despite their not being relegation fears or play-off sights in the picture, there's still the objective of putting their name in the draw for the second round of the EFL Cup.
The form book is something Sabri Lamouchi's Forest side will want to look away from. The Reds embarrassing end of season collapse has been well documented and they'll be keen to turn the page from that chapter, after a dismal restart saw them pick up just 10 points from an available 27.
Barnsley were the opposite of that and lost just two of their final nine games, finishing the season with a 2-1 away victory against Brentford to confirm their survival at the expense of Wigan Athletic after a 12 point deduction.
A new season means for new beginnings and with both manager's likely to roll the dice and leave certain first team faces on the sidelines ready for the first league fixture next weekend, the form book is ripped up and it's any sides for the taking.
Ones to watch
It's likely that Lyle Taylor will be given the nod by Lamouchi in order to further bed the Montserrat international into his new squad. Taylor scored in both fixtures against the Tykes last season while playing for Lee Bowyer's Charlton Athletic and scored in Forest's last pre season outing in their 1-0 victory against West Bromwich Albion.
Club record signing Joao Carvalho has also been given a considerable more amount of game time during pre season and could well be in contention to start. The Portuguese midfielder is capable of unlocking any Championship defence on his day and he will have a point to prove as he looks ahead to rediscover his 2019/20 form that had fans on Trentside delighted.
Cauley Woodrow netted 14 times last season for Barnsley and is a danger man for the Tykes. Since joining the club in the summer of 2018, Woodrow has found the net 34 times and he'll be keen to ensure Forest leave South Yorkshire without a place in the second round.
Captain Alex Mowatt was a key figure for Barnsley in the heart of midfield last season and the 25-year-old has the capabilities to unlock the Forest defence with his impressive passing ability and dribbling. Mowatt is certainly one of the players Forest will be hopeful that manager Gerhard Struber leaves out.
Lamouchi has a number of names unavailable for selection ahead of Saturday afternoon's clash. Samba Sow is unlikely to feature, with the midfielder struggling for fitness due to an ongoing knee problem that hampered him during his first year at the club.
Joe Lolley has returned to training but may not be risked just yet after struggling with shin splints.
Tiago Silva is not available, as confirmed by Lamouchi. This comes after links of a switch to Greek giants Olympiacos for the Portuguese ace.
Barnsley defender Ben Williams will miss the tie after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury during a training camp last month. The injury sees Williams out of action for several months.
The Tykes are without any other injuries or suspensions, enabling Struber a fresh squad of options to lineup with.
Head to head
The two clubs have locked horns 84 times over the course of history, with an equal amount of victories each. Both sides have won 31 matches and the remaining 22 were drawn.
In recent times Barnsley have enjoyed the better results when the two have met. The Tykes have won three and Forest two in the clubs last five meetings.
How to watch
Kick-off for tomorrow's encounter is at 3pm (15:00) at Oakwell.
The tie hasn't been selected for TV coverage but you can watch your team in action through ‘iFollow’. Head to the individual club or EFL official website for more information on buying a singular game pass or season pass.