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The Championship fixture list has been released, What’s your team in for?

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Year after year, the Sky Bet Championship hosts some of the most exiting displays of football in the English Leagues with promotion places being up for grabs going into the final days of the season.

Last year, Bournemouth confidently saw off the challenge of 23 other teams to be crowned champions of the Sky Bet Championship. So as the fixture lists are release, we at The Sports’ Lowdown take a look at the key fixtures over the 2015/16 season.

As Burnley, Hull and QPR all take their place in the Championship from the Premiership, and MK Dons, Bristol City and Preston North End join from League One there are some new rivalries mixing in with the old guard of the Championship.

Rivalries are back and with a bang, and we may not have Liverpool v Everton or the Manchester Derby, but in the Championship there are some big rivalries.

In our eyes there are 3 Key Rivalries to look for in the forthcoming season.

Forest v Derby – The East Midlands Derby has been a staple of the Football League for many years now. The Brian Clough Trophy will be up for grabs again this year and after Forest claimed 4 points from Derby last season, this will be an interesting derby year for both teams. It could easily go either way with both teams aiming for promotion places again this year. Ben Osborn’s strike at the last derby fixture extended Stuart Pearce’s time at Forest by a few weeks, and the East Midlands Derby could prove crucial again this year as the two teams go head to head at the City Ground on the 7th of November with the return fixture on the 19th March. Both of these games come after the establishing games of the first few weeks will give us an idea of where these two teams could become the end of the season. With them being so near to Christmas and towards the end of the season, these fixtures could prove the moral changers that may be needed for both teams if they find themselves in an unsuitable position come the games at the City Ground and iPro Stadium

Burnley v Blackburn –Burnley v Blackburn may not be as historic as the East Midlands Derby, but it sure is a damned good derby. The last time these two teams met, Burnley were victorious at Ewood Park. Anything could happen in this fixture as both teams will be hard to separate from each other. In both the fixtures that will be played this season, I would have to edge with whichever has the home advantage. In this derby, the fans outweigh most of the players on the pitch. The first fixture will be played in Blackburn, and is on the 24th October. This could be a throwaway fixture for either team due to the date it is being played on. However, the return fixture at Burnley could be either of the team’s biggest game of the season. Played at Turf moor on the 5th March could prove key to either side to give them the final push either of them will need (and want) towards a good final few games.

Hull v Leeds – This Yorkshire rivalry could be a key one in both these two teams season. With Hull looking to return to the Premier League as soon as possible, Leeds could be one of the teams that stand in their way. The first fixture will be played at Elland Road on the 5th December with the return on the 23rd April. The proximity of both of these games to Christmas and the end of the season could determine the final position of both Hull and Leeds and the derby could give them the bragging rights in Yorkshire.

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