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

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As always, the opening fixture of the season is the one every team wants to win as its sets them up for their prospective seasons. There are a few fixtures that stand out amongst the opening weekend. Brighton v Forest, Sheffield Wednesday v Bristol City, Cardiff v Fulham and Rotherham v MK Dons.

Rotherham survived the drop last season and MK Dons will be a challenge as their opening game, one that both sets of fans will want to win. MK Dons will be looking to carry on their form from last season into the championship and a win against Rotherham would set them up nicely. This will be a hard game to separate, but could prove a good morale boost to either team should they win.

Cardiff and Fulham finished disappointingly last season overshadowed by some controversies in each camp. This fixture as an opener should prove exiting. They will both look to finish at least in the top 10 this season, and both these teams will want a win in their first fixture to appease their fans. I can however, see this being a game the Cardiff do win. Being played in Cardiff, Fulham will have a hard time trying to silence the fans that will turn up and as long as Cardiff put in a capable display, they should see of the challenge from Fulham.

Bristol City are one of the teams to watch in the Championship this season. They may have only just been promoted, but they did so in style and they will want to carry that into the championship on their first game. Sheffield Wednesday could prove to be a challenge for them, but Bristol could easily rise to that challenge. The Championship is one of the most unpredictable leagues, and this could show in this fixture. Sheffield had a solid season last year, finishing 13th and only missing out on the top ten by 3 points. That could be the difference this game makes. 3 points will be crucial for both teams in this fixture and it should be entertaining to watch this one.

Brighton and Hove Albion host Nottingham Forest on the first weekend and this could be a very entertaining game. Forest currently are coming off the back of what was a disappointing season, and many fans will want a good result to settle the nerves. Brighton could be a challenge that Nottm Forest could see of. Brighton was the first team the Dougie Freedman faced as Nottm Forest boss, and that fixture ended 3-2 to Forest so Brighton could be out for revenge here, and Forest will have to stop them if they want to repeat their early season success as they did last year. Brighton did finish 20th last season, but with the unpredictability of the Forest team and with some of their positions currently being unmanned because of injury or departures, you have to consider that Brighton do have a chance in this fixture. Only time can tell us the victor of this game.

The hardest start this year for me goes to Bolton Wanderers. Neil Lennon’s side come up against Derby and Middlesbrough on the first and second weekends and the MK Dons, Forest and Blackburn in the 3 weeks after. These are a very tough set of fixtures for the team who occupied 18th come the end of last season. Going against promotion contenders Derby, Middlesbrough, Forest and Blackburn in the first few weeks would be a daunting task for any team, but as the luck of the draw would have it, Bolton have the opportunity to try and cause some upsets. It will be hard for them to win many of these games, but they could prove me wrong.

Another team with a particularly hard start is one of the promotion contenders, Wolves. They start their season with a visit from other promotion hopefuls Blackburn, this fixture could go either way as Blackburn are listed as the home side. Then, going into the second weekend, Wolves host recently relegated Hull, which will be a daunting task even for Wolves. The third weekend, they play host to another recently relegated team in QPR, another daunting task. These three games could either make or hinder their chance this season as wolves will need a good start to maintain a challenge for promotion. Wolves when they host Hull and Q.P.R. could be the top 4 clashes that people would look for further on in the season, and when we get to the return fixtures, they could prove very crucial games for all three teams.

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