Lampard’s Derby to kick-off new EFL season; Leeds to host Stoke

Date published: Thursday 21st June 2018 10:20 - Rob McCarthy

Frank Lampard’s first competitive game as Derby manager will kick-off the Sky Bet Championship campaign, while Leeds will also take on Stoke.

Former England midfielder Lampard, who took over as boss of the Rams three weeks ago, takes his team to Reading on Friday, August 3.

Derby also figured in the opening game of the 2017-18 campaign, drawing 1-1 at Sunderland. They went on to finish sixth but lost out to promoted Fulham in the play-offs, with Gary Rowett since leaving to join Stoke following their relegation from the Premier League.

The opening round of Championship matches, revealed by the EFL on Thursday morning, will be spread over four days.

There is an intriguing contest at Elland Road on Sunday, August 5, with Leeds hosting Stoke in what will represent the first competitive match with their new clubs for respective managers Marcelo Bielsa and Rowett.

Steve Bruce takes his Aston Villa side – beaten play-off finalists last month – to former club Hull on Monday, August 6, with the remaining nine Championship games taking place on the Saturday.

Relegated West Brom, who confirmed Darren Moore as their permanent boss following an impressive stint as caretaker, open at home to Bolton while Graham Potter’s Swansea – the other team bidding for an instant top flight return – have an evening game at Sheffield United.

Of the promoted trio, League One champions Wigan start at home to Sheffield Wednesday, runners-up Blackburn are at Ipswich and play-off winners Rotherham go to Brentford.

Elsewhere, Birmingham host Norwich, Middlesbrough are at Millwall, Bristol City face Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate and Preston welcome QPR.

There is deja vu among the final round of fixtures. Bolton ensured survival last month with a final-day home win over Nottingham Forest and the two teams meet again in their final game of next season, albeit at Forest.

Lampard’s Rams host West Brom in the most eye-catching May 5 fixture. Stoke finish at home to Sheffield United and Swansea are at Blackburn.


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