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Thursday 24 June 2021 16:48, UK
The fixtures for the 2021/22 Sky Bet Championship season have been released, with two of the three sides relegated from the Premier League handed home starts.
Sheffield United, under the new stewardship of Slavisa Jokanovic, begin a fresh era at home to Birmingham, while Fulham host Middlesbrough on the opening weekend of August 7/8, with Scott Parker's future still in limbo.
West Brom, having recently appointed former Barnsley coach Valerien Ismael, travel to Bournemouth, while there are away trips to start the campaign for all the newly-promoted sides.
Blackpool's return to the Championship begins at Bristol City, Hull go to Preston and Peterborough head to Luton.
Elsewhere on the opening weekend, a London derby pits Queens Park Rangers against Millwall and there is a Midlands meeting between Coventry and Nottingham Forest.
Wayne Rooney's Derby, who narrowly escaped relegation in 2020/21, welcome Huddersfield, while beaten play-off finalists Swansea go to Blackburn and Stoke start against Reading.
Further down the fixture list, Rooney's Rams will host fierce foes Nottingham Forest at the end of August, with the return fixture on January 22.
The first South Wales derby sees Cardiff travel to Swansea on October 16, with the Liberty Stadium providing the setting for the return tussle on April 2.
The same weekends in October and April will provide more crunch derbies as West Brom meet Birmingham City and Fulham face west London rivals QPR.
An intriguing final set of fixtures pits Jokanovic's current club against his former one as Sheffield United host Fulham at Bramall Lane. Will that be a pivotal promotion clash on May 7?
All dates and kick-off times are subject to change, with the first set of games live on Sky Sports to be confirmed in due course.
Here's the first round of fixtures for the 2021/22 Championship season, which kicks off on the weekend of August 7:
Bournemouth vs West Bromwich Albion
Blackburn Rovers vs Swansea City
Bristol City vs Blackpool
Cardiff City vs Barnsley
Coventry City vs Nottingham Forest
Derby County vs Huddersfield Town
Fulham vs Middlesbrough
Luton Town vs Peterborough United
Preston North End vs Hull City
Queens Park Rangers vs Millwall
Sheffield United vs Birmingham City
Stoke City vs Reading
The clashes lined up for December 26:
Barnsley vs Stoke City
Cardiff City vs Coventry City
Derby County vs West Bromwich Albion
Fulham vs Birmingham City
Huddersfield Town vs Blackpool
Hull City vs Blackburn Rovers
Luton Town vs Bristol City
Middlesbrough vs Nottingham Forest
Millwall vs Swansea City
Peterborough United vs Reading
Preston North End vs Sheffield United
Queens Park Rangers vs Bournemouth
Which of these games will be pivotal on May 7, 2022?
Bournemouth vs Millwall
Birmingham City vs Blackburn Rovers
Derby County vs Cardiff City
Huddersfield Town vs Bristol City
Hull City vs Nottingham Forest
Luton Town vs Reading
Peterborough United vs Blackpool
Preston North End vs Middlesbrough
Sheffield United vs Fulham
Stoke City vs Coventry City
Swansea City vs Queens Park Rangers
West Bromwich Albion vs Barnsley
The 2021/22 Premier League will start on Saturday, August 14 - 34 days after the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
The season will end on May 22 2022, with all 10 games kicking off at the same time.
The 2021/22 EFL season will kick off on Saturday, August 7.
Next season's League One campaign will finish on the weekend of April 30 2022, with League Two and the Championship on one of May 7 and May 8 respectively.
The League One play-off final will then be held on Saturday, May 21, the League Two play-off final on Saturday, May 28, and the Championship play-off final on Sunday, May 29.