The fixtures have been announced for the forthcoming 2016/17 EFL season, and numerous club rivalries are ready to be renewed.As well as the opening day, first away trip, Boxing Day and the final day of action, fans across the country will be eagerly anticipating that first clash of the new campaign against their local rivals.
This season, plenty of intriguing match-ups return to the calendar, with every division boasting numerous clashes between foes.
One of the biggest rivalries in England is set to be renewed in the EFL this season, with Aston Villa and Birmingham City competing in the same division for the first time since 2011. The pair meet in late October at St Andrew’s and three games from the end of the season next April, at Villa Park.
Villa will also face Wolverhampton Wanderers in another Midlands derby, in what will be their first fixture since 2012.
Norwich City’s return to the Sky Bet Championship sees them pitted against East Anglian derby rivals Ipswich Town again, following one season apart. The last time they met, it was the Canaries who prevailed over two legs in the 2014/15 Play-Off semi-final.
Returning club Barnsley have a few tasty Yorkshire derbies to look forward to. The Tykes – who romped to a Trophy and promotion double last term – will come up against Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield Town, Leeds United and Rotherham United.
Alongside those, Derby County versus Nottingham Forest, Fulham versus Queens Park Rangers, Blackburn Rovers versus Preston North End and Leeds United versus Sheffield Wednesday are just some of the other local rivalries we can look forward to.
Read more: 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship fixtures
Bolton Wanderers will renew their rivalry with Bury this season, following the Trotters’ relegation last term. The pair haven’t met on League duties since 1999, and will also relish taking on fellow Greater Manchester clubs Rochdale and Oldham Athletic.
Charlton Athletic also join Sky Bet League One for the upcoming campaign, and they can look forward to a couple of south London derbies – against Millwall and newcomers AFC Wimbledon.
Last season’s Sky Bet League Two champions Northampton Town can book a few dates in the diary too. The Cobblers will come up against Peterborough United for the first time in seven years, and also visit Milton Keynes Dons.
Elsewhere, Oxford United and Swindon Town will do battle. The two met in the EFL Trophy as recently as last term, when Michael Appleton’s men marched all the way to the Final at Wembley. The fixture has seen Oxford flourish in recent times; the U’s have won the last five meetings in all competitions.
Read more: 2016/17 Sky Bet League One fixtures
Blackpool won’t have to wait long until they visit near neighbours Morecambe in Sky Bet League Two this season. Around 35 miles separate the two clubs, who meet on the second weekend of the campaign.
Mansfield Town and Notts County will once again go head-to-head, with the Stags having beaten their rivals 5-0 in the latest Nottinghamshire derby back in April.
Down south, Plymouth Argyle and Portsmouth – who both missed out on promotion via the Play-Offs last season – will renew rivalries in October, while Argyle will also travel a short distance to Exeter City in September.
Read more: 2016/17 Sky Bet League Two fixtures