Fulham, Huddersfield, Reading: Welcome Rafa

Date published: Wednesday 22nd June 2016 9:13

Rafael Benitez Football365

Rafael Benitez and Newcastle begin life in the English Football League with a new-season curtain-raiser at Fulham.

The Magpies, relegated from the Premier League, head to west London on Friday August 5 on the eve of the new EFL campaign.

Aston Villa, also relegated to the Championship and under the new management of Roberto Di Matteo, face a stiff-looking trip to play-off runners-up Sheffield Wednesday on the Sunday, with Norwich at Blackburn on the Saturday.

Elsewhere on August 6, promoted Burton have a short journey to Nottingham Forest, Birmingham host Cardiff and new Rotherham boss Alan Stubbs has a home game with Wolves.

Other new managers include Jaap Stam at Reading (at home to Preston), Garry Monk at Leeds (away to QPR on the Sunday) and Nigel Pearson at Derby (at home to Brighton).

To finish things off in the Championship, Bristol City host Wigan, Huddersfield are at home to Brentford and Barnsley go to Ipswich.

In League One, promoted champions Northampton start at home to Fleetwood while fellow new-boys Oxford, Bristol Rovers and AFC Wimbledon face Chesterfield, Scunthorpe and Walsall respectively.

Two new managers will meet at the Macron Stadium as Phil Parkinson’s Bolton host Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United and Stuart McCall begins life back at Bradford against Port Vale, who also have a new boss in the shape of Bruno Ribeiro.

Bury face Charlton, Rochdale host Peterborough, Millwall play Oldham, Gillingham to go Southend, Swindon are at home to Coventry and Shrewsbury meet MK Dons at the Greenhous Meadow.

Cheltenham start life back in the Football League with a clash at home to Leyton Orient while fellow League Two newcomers Grimsby host Morecambe.

Blackpool will hope this is the season where their descent through the leagues stops and they start against Exeter with Doncaster heading to Accrington and Stevenage hosting Crewe.

Yeovil are at home to Notts County, Plymouth face Luton and Hartlepool welcome Colchester while Carlisle take on the 350-mile trip to Portsmouth. The opening day is completed by Newport against Mansfield, Crawley against Wycombe and Cambridge against Barnet.

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