Hatton and Rahm can put early blue on the board
USA may fight back in the final two matches
Europe can win the opening session 2.5-1.5 @ [5/1]
The foursomes for the opening day caused quite a stir on social media with much of the focus on the American side discussing who wasn't playing rather than who was.
So, the previous dream team of Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas sit the first session out, as do two of their three Major winners from 2023: US PGA champion Brooks Koepka and US Open victor Wyndham Clark.
But there is a space for shock Open hero Brian Harman although his suitability for foursomes lessens the surprise.
For Europe, current form seems to have played a part in Luke Donald's thinking with their chosen eight finishing tied second, fourth, fifth, sixth, tied seventh, tied 10th, tied 10th and tied 18th in the recent BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
Going into these opening foursomes, Europe head the outright market at 1/12.00, with the USA 11/102.11 and the Tie 11/112.00.
06:35: Rahm/Hatton v Scheffler/Burns
Rahm, in tandem with Justin Rose, lost the top match to Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau in 2018 but triumphed from the same slot in 2021 as he and Sergio Garcia saw off Thomas and Spieth 3&1.
Rahm has Wentworth runner-up Hatton for company this time and that's a powerful opening combo, their world rankings adding up to a combined 14 compared to the 23 of Scheffler (1) and Burns (20).
Scheffler's putting became a big issue at the back end of last season and until there's evidence that he's sorted it, that makes him vulnerable. Burns, who missed the cut at Hoylake, had just one top 10 in his final nine starts of the season and the Euros look match sharper.
Verdict: Europe 11/102.11
06:50: Hovland/Aberg v Homa/Harman
A shame it's not Haberg as that would have completed the full 'H' shootout. Donald has at least found some symmetry by pairing the two young Scandies and, potentially, they could be a devastating duo. Hovland's current form reads 5-1-1 and Aberg's 10-1-4.
Homa finished the PGA Tour season strongly and is one of the few Americans with a recent run under their belt after a seventh at the Fortinet (where he was the double defending champion) a fortnight ago. Hoylake hero Harman was last seen finishing 25th out of 30 at East Lake and, like Homa and Aberg, is a Ryder Cup rookie.
It's a slightly surprising American duo and, while not to be written off, Hovland can do no wrong right now and wildcard pick Aberg has the class and temperament to hit the ground running.
Verdict: Europe 5/61.84
07:05: Lowry/Straka v Fowler/Morikawa
This is Europe's lowest-ranked pairing although that applies to the Americans too: a combined 56 plays 44, with Morikawa (19) the only one of the quartet in the world's top 20. Expect the ball to be in the fairway a lot though as Straka and Harman are their team's most accurate drivers.
The Americans may well need a point here to avoid an uncomfortable opening and it doesn't look guaranteed. Fowler's form tailed off (no top 15s in five starts) after he won July's Rocket Mortgage Classic and Morikawa missed the cut at Hoylake.
Lowry managed just a single point from three matches in 2021 although that may not be the best form guide (Morikawa scored 3.5 out of 4) while Straka is an unknown in the heat of a Ryder Cup. Fowler had a habit of halving his matches at Celtic Manor in 2010 and I'll go for that here.
Verdict: Halve 5/16.00
07:20: McIlroy/Fleetwood v Schauffele/Cantlay
Surely the best has been saved until last with two of Europe's big guns up against an elite and proven Ryder Cup/Presidents Cup pairing. Swap Fleetwood for Poulter and this was also the final match of the opening foursomes at Whistling Straits in 2021. The outcome then? Schauffele and Cantlay dished out a 5&3 thrashing.
The American duo also won the bottom match (v Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick) on day two while look back to the opening foursomes at the 2022 Presidents Cup and they walloped Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama 6&5.
That said, Fleetwood is a former runner-up at Marco Simone and Rory, as well as being Rory, was fourth here on his one start. It would be a big surprise if anyone dominates and I'm tempted to go for another share even though halved matches in foursomes are rarer than in fourballs for the obvious reasons. Oh, heck... the USA, just!
Verdict: USA 5/42.25
An overall assessment here is that Europe have the stronger weapons across the piece so backing the hosts to win the session 2.5-1.5 feels about right. That pays 5/16.00 at the Sportsbook.
The Americans may just be a little undercooked given their lack of recent tournament play so that also helps fuel the idea that Europe make the stronger start.
The matches could be backed individually but, of course, it's perfectly possible to call all four wrong and still be on the right end of a correct scoreline.
I fancy Europe for overall glory and these opening pairings look to have given them the chance to make an early statement.