|Venue: Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, Rome Dates: 29 Sep – 1 Oct|
|Coverage: Live radio commentary on BBC Sounds, live text updates on BBC Sport website and daily highlights on BBC Two|
Ludvig Aberg has been thrust straight into Ryder Cup action by being paired with Viktor Hovland in Friday’s opening session against the United States.
The 23-year-old Swede, who only turned professional in June, will partner Hovland for Europe against US rookies Brian Harman and Max Homa in Rome.
Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood face Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay in arguably the match of the morning.
The US are defending champions but have not won on European soil for 30 years.
In the first match, which will tee off at 06:35 BST at Marco Simone Golf Club, Spain’s world number three Jon Rahm and England’s Tyrrell Hatton take on number one-ranked Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns.
“Jon feeds off a playing partner with similar passion and fire – Tyrrell fits that bill,” said Europe captain Luke Donald when explaining why he paired them together.
“They are fearless. They are motivated. They have a lot of good energy and everyone feels like they are playing well so I am very excited.”
Donald has also opted to play another rookie in the arguably tougher alternate shot foursomes, partnering Austria’s Sepp Straka with Ireland’s Shane Lowry. They take on Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa.
It is the first time Europe have opened with the foursomes format since their last home defeat, in 1993 at The Belfry.
Since then, they have preferred the fourballs option – where each golfer plays their own ball with the best score counting – but Donald said he had flipped things round after “a deep dive into statistics of the team” showed it was the best way of them making a “fast start”.
He also says he will use all 12 of his players on the opening day.
That means England pair Matt Fitzpatrick and Justin Rose will play in the afternoon, along with Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre and Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard, who are making their Ryder Cup debuts.
“Last week this is what I had in mind,” said Donald.
“I’ve seen great play from the other guys but nothing that has changed my plans. It was always going to be a plan that could change, but I didn’t really need to.
“I haven’t really given the US pairings much thought. They are going to be very strong as they always are.”
US skipper Zach Johnson would not confirm whether all 12 of his players would compete on Friday and defended his decision to leave his wildcard picks Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas out of the foursomes.
Spieth and Thomas are good friends and have won two out of four foursomes matches together but have a 100% record from two matches in the fourballs format.
“The gist of it is we have 12 and I can’t play all 12 each session so at some point somebody has to sit,” said Johnson.
“It’s a golf course which demands a lot out of you physically. I think it’s an ideal situation where you don’t necessarily play everyone all five sessions.
“The eight guys I have down on paper, I feel, put us in the best position to get us off to a great start.”
Rookie Burns is a good friend of Scheffler’s and Johnson said: “We are confident putting out Scottie and Sam. There’s some experience and chemistry in there as well.
“Those two guys bond and mesh so well together on and off the golf course, it is a natural fit.”
US Open champion Wyndham Clark is the only American debutant to miss out in the morning session, while US PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka also sits out.
Friday morning’s session of four foursomes matches will be followed by four fourball matches in the afternoon. Saturday will replicate that with 12 singles matches on Sunday.
The United States, as defending champions, need 14 points to retain the Ryder Cup, with Europe requiring 14½ to regain the trophy.