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Sky Bet EFL fixture release: Preston vs Sheffield United to kick the season off

The match at Kenilworth Road will be played on the Monday night, the final Championship fixture of a weekend which begins with a Friday night double-header in which Blackburn host newly promoted Derby and Sheffield United, also relegated from the Premier League, head to Preston on August 9.

Promoted Portsmouth begin life in the Championship away to Leeds the following day, with Oxford hosting Norwich – who have appointed Johannes Hoff Thorup to replace David Wagner.

New Sunderland boss Regis Le Bris will begin his tenure away to Cardiff while Hull boss Tim Walter will welcome Bristol City in his first league match in charge.

All of Saturday’s Championship fixtures will kick off at 12.30pm, with every game across the opening weekend in the Championship, League One and League Two being televised on Sky Sports+ under the EFL’s new £935million deal with the broadcaster.

In all, the deal will see a total of 1,059 EFL matches broadcast live over the course of the season, with all final-day fixtures also being televised.

Wrexham will start their push for a third successive promotion with a League One fixture against Wycombe on August 10, while Birmingham, seeking an immediate return to the Championship under new boss Chris Davies, host Reading.

Huddersfield will head to Peterborough and Rotherham face a long trip to Exeter following relegation to the third tier, while promoted Stockport host Cambridge and Crawley welcome Blackpool.

Mansfield, the other side to come up from League Two, help get the action under way on the Friday night with a trip to Barnsley.

In League Two, Bromley’s first taste of life in the EFL will come away to Harrogate on the Saturday. National League champions Chesterfield help get the action under way when they host Swindon on the Friday night.

All of Saturday’s League One matches will kick off at 5.30pm for television coverage, with League Two in the 3pm slot.

There is one match on Sunday August 11, when Sheffield Wednesday host Wayne Rooney’s Plymouth in the Championship.

The first South Wales derby takes place on August 24 when Swansea host Cardiff, with the reverse fixture on January 18.

Burnley, yet to name a replacement for new Bayern Munich boss Vincent Kompany, will renew their rivalry with Blackburn at Turf Moor on August 31, and head to Ewood Park on January 4.

Sheffield United host rivals Wednesday on November 9 in the first Sheffield derby since March 2019, and head to Hillsborough on March 15.

Those are the sort of fixtures likely to be moved for television coverage, with the EFL and Sky pledging that fans will be given plenty of notice under the terms of their new deal.

All broadcast selections up to the end of September are due to be announced next week, and supporters will know before the start of the season of any changes involving games taking place prior to the FA Cup third round weekend in January.

By November 1 they will know about selections through to the first weekend in March.

The notice period for selections will then be four weeks in advance during the run-in.

All opening weekend fixtures:

Friday August 9


  • Preston North End vs Sheffield United - 8pm (Sky Sports)
  • Blackburn Rovers vs Derby - 8pm (Sky Sports)

League One

  • Barnsley vs Mansfield Town - 8pm

League Two

  • Chesterfield vs Swindon Town - 8pm

Saturday August 10

Championship - all 12.30pm kick-offs

  • Cardiff City vs Sunderland
  • Hull City vs Bristol City
  • Leeds United vs Portsmouth
  • Middlesbrough vs Swansea City
  • Millwall vs Watford
  • Oxford United vs Norwich City (Sky Sports)
  • QPR vs West Bromwich Albion
  • Stoke City vs Coventry City

League One - all 5.30pm kick-offs

  • Birmingham City vs Reading (Sky Sports)
  • Bristol Rovers vs Northampton Town
  • Burton Albion vs Lincoln City
  • Crawley Town vs Blackpool
  • Exeter City vs Rotherham United
  • Leyton Orient vs Bolton Wanderers
  • Peterborough United vs Huddersfield Town
  • Stevenage vs Shrewsbury Town
  • Stockport County vs Cambridge United
  • Wigan Athletic vs Charlton Athletic
  • Wrexham vs Wycombe Wanderers

League Two - all 3pm kick-offs

  • A.F.C. Wimbledon vs Colchester United
  • Barrow vs Crewe Alexandra
  • Cheltenham Town vs Newport County
  • Doncaster Rovers vs Accrington Stanley
  • Fleetwood Town vs Grimsby Town
  • Gillingham vs Carlisle United
  • Harrogate Town vs Bromley
  • Milton Keynes Dons vs Bradford City (Sky Sports)
  • Salford City vs Port Vale
  • Tranmere Rovers vs Notts County
  • Walsall vs Morecambe

Sunday August 11


  • Sheffield Wednesday vs Plymouth Argyle - 4pm (Sky Sports)

Monday August 12


  • Luton Town vs Burnley - 8pm (Sky Sports)

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