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Newcastle United face Fulham in Football League opener

 
 
 Football News 24/
 
Relegated Newcastle United will kick off the 2016-17 English Football League season with a Championship trip to Fulham on Friday, 5 August.

Norwich and Aston Villa, who finished below Newcastle in the Premier League last term, start at Blackburn and Sheffield Wednesday respec­tively.

Burton Albion begin their first season in the second tier away at neighbours Nottingham Forest.

Play-off winners Barnsley, who beat Millwall at Wembley to earn promotion to the Champi­onship, start their season at Portman Road against Ipswich Town.

In the pick of the Boxing Day matches, former European champions Villa, returning to the second tier for the first time in 28 years, are at home to Burton, who were in non-league until 2009.

The Championship will play host to the second city, East Midlands and East Anglian derbies

This season will see a bumper crop of derby fixtures across the Champi­onship, including the first second city derby between Villa and Birmingham City in the league for five years on 29 October at St Andrews.

Villa host neighbours Wolves on 15 October and Blues travel the 19 miles to Molineux on 20 August.

Another highly-anticipated rivalry every season is when Derby meet Forest in the East Midlands derby, the first of which is scheduled to take place on 10 December at the iPro Stadium.

The Rams also take on East Midlands rivals Burton on 27 August, while the East Anglian derby between Ipswich and Norwich reignites after a one-season break on 20 August at Portman Road.

Opening weekend fixtures (all Saturday, 6 August - 15:00 BST unless stated)

Fulham v Newcastle United (Friday, 5 August - 19:45 BST)
Birmingham City v Cardiff City
Blackburn Rovers v Norwich City
Bristol City v Wigan Athletic
Derby County v Brighton
Huddersfield Town v Brentford
Ipswich Town v Barnsley
Nottingham Forest v Burton Albion
Reading v Preston North End
Rotherham United v Wolver­hampton Wanderers
Queens Park Rangers v Leeds United (Sunday, 7 August - 12:00 BST)
Sheffield Wednesday v Aston Villa (Sunday, 7 August - 16:30 BST)

LM

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