Everton manager David Moyes hopes his side can avoid the early struggles of previous seasons and make a strong start to the new campaign.
The Toffees have made a habit of beginning poorly and having to salvage their campaign after Christmas but for once the manager is optimistic that may change.
He admits he has tried various approaches over the years to ensure the squad hit the ground running and this summer he has again made a couple of tweaks.
But what he feels will be more significant is, in contrast to previous seasons when business has been done late on, he already has two important key players on board in Steven Naismith and Steven Pienaar.
"I have always thought if you can get your recruitment done early it does make a big difference to what you do," said the Scot, who is still looking to bring in a couple more players before the end of the transfer window.
"I am happy we've got a couple in with Naismith and Pienaar, so from that point of view we have done our business a little bit there.
"We have tried a couple of things (in pre-season) and we are always trying to look to make things better and improve.
"Some things haven't been as good as they should have been but I'm content with the group of players I have."
Last season Everton took just seven points from their first seven matches but, coincidentally, still managed to finish seventh - ahead of city rivals Liverpool for the first time since 2005.
That has been a familiar story over recent campaigns and their start is no easier this time around as Manchester United, who lost out on a 20th league title to neighbours City on goal difference with almost the final kick of the season, are the visitors to Goodison Park on Monday.
"Over the years we have had many strange starts to the season, mainly not particularly good ones, but you can't dismiss where we tend to finish," added Moyes.
"Where we tend to finish is where most people and pundits would probably put Everton.
"We will try to get off to a good start and try to be up at the top if we can but the opposition we have got are very hard.
"Our supporters know we will play the best we can and we will make it as competitive as we have over the years for Manchester United.
"It is a great opening game for us and I am really looking forward to getting started.
"I was excited with the way we finished last season and I have roughly the same team and that gives me good optimism."