EFL Fixtures: Stoke City visit Leeds and Sunderland kick-off against Charlton
Who’s your club playing?
Promotion and relegation from last season’s play-offs may still be sinking in for fans of the EFL clubs.
But today the new season fixtures arrive. This should represent closure and a time to re-calibrate on yet another campaign for the 72 clubs.
Aston Villa go again in the Championship joined by Midlands rivals West Brom, Stoke City and Swansea City.
Whilst Sunderland begin life in the third tier, with a game which could easily be mistaken for a Premier League clash.
The Coral News Team give a rundown of the movers and shakers in the EFL and the big questions the 2018-19 fixture lists throw-up this season.
Stoke start their first season in the Championship in ten years with an early test against Leeds United.
Both have changed managers in the close-season and anything less than a promotion push would be a failure.
Stoke now under the management Gary Rowett faces Derby County at the Britannia Stadium at the end of the November. His former club is now managed by Frank Lampard.
Derby travel to Reading for their first game of the 2018-19 season.
Premier League drop-outs West Brom kick-off against Bolton Wanderers.
Swansea have recruited the much-fancied Ostersund’s coach Graham Potter as their new boss.
Sheffield United represents their first test back in the Championship.
Blackburn Rovers’ return sees them travel to Ipswich Town.
Rotherham United’s reward for winning the League One play-offs is a trip to Brentford in the season opener.
Whilst Wigan Athletic play Sheffield Wednesday.
Wigan will hope their Championship status is secure by the time they take on Millwall on the last-day.
There are still a few historic derby days this season.
Norwich City and Ipswich duel in the first of their double-header on 1st September. The ‘Old Farm’ returns for part two on 9th February at Carrow Road.
Villa entertain Birmingham City on 24th November, with Blues at home on 9th March.
Sheffield United host the first ‘Steel City’ clash on 10th December and travel to Wednesday in early March.
The East Lancashire derby between Blackburn and Bolton resumes in the Championship this season.
They serve up the first offering on 6th October at Macron Stadium. Followed by the return at Ewood Park in April.
Lampard will take charge of an East Midlands derby for the first time. Nottingham Forest go to Pride Park in December. The return fixture is in February.
Sunderland are easily the biggest draw in League One this campaign.
They begin their season in un-familiar surroundings but Charlton Athletic may represent a familiar opponent.
New manager Jack Ross will know promotion is paramount. Other notable fixtures for the Black Cats will be the trip to Fratton Park to play Portsmouth on 22nd December.
And it what could be the starkest reminder of their plight, a trip to Accrington Stanley on 8th December.
Barnsley fall-back into League One after two seasons. They take on Oxford United in their first game.
Burton Albion also dropped down and play Rochdale in the opening round of fixtures.
Luton Town begin life in League One away to promotion hopefuls Portsmouth.
Coventry City are back and take on Scunthorpe United in their opener. They close the season at the Ricoh Arena against Shrewsbury Town.
Wycombe Wanderers host Blackpool in the season curtain-raiser and finish their campaign against Fleetwood.
Accrington were promoted to the third-tier for the first time in their history. There will be a party atmosphere in the stadium when Gillingham travel to the Crown Ground.
They will hope to celebrate another year in League One when they travel to Portsmouth on the final weekend.
Joey Barton begins his managerial career with Fleetwood Town at home to AFC Wimbledon.
He will hope to win the fans over though in the Fylde-Coast derby against Blackpool. The first is on October 27th with the second instalment on April 22nd.
Macclesfield Town and Tranmere Rovers came up from the National League last season.
They take on Swindon Town and Stevenage respectively in their first season back in the Football League.
Macclesfield’s new manager Mark Yates has said they’ll aim as high as they can. They don’t want to be in a relegation scrap when they face Cambridge United in the final fixture in May.
Tranmere will hope to unravel Morecambe on Boxing Day before travelling to a familiar foe in Macclesfield on New Years’ Day.
MK Dons are the pick of the relegated sides. They’ve recruited former Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale to guide them back up the divisions.
Their opening weekend begins with a trip to Oldham Athletic before being book-ended by a home tie against Mansfield Town.
They travel to Tisdale’s former side at St. James’ Park in February. A game that already feels like it will have some needle to it.
Bury open with a tie against Mansfield Town to contend with.
Cambridge United travel to rivals Stevenage on 1st September and then welcome The Boro to The Abbey in January 2019.