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Fixture Release Day: 2017/18 key moments

21 June 2017

The 2017/18 Sky Bet EFL fixtures have been revealed, and the planning can now begin for the 72 clubs and their supporters.

Opening weekend

The new season kicks off on Friday 4th August when Sunderland host Derby County, and that's just one of a number of enthralling Sky Bet Championship ties over the opening weekend.

Steve Bruce took Hull City up in 2015/16, and his target of repeating that feat with Aston Villa begins with a home clash against his former employers.

Click here to view the EFL matches selected for Sky Sports coverage

New Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke faces a tricky trip to Fulham in what will be his first competitive fixture since taking charge.

In Sky Bet League One, losing Play-Off finalists Bradford City play newly promoted Blackpool, where the Bantams will look to extend the home form that saw them unbeaten at Valley Parade in 2016/17.

The three sides relegated from the Championship – Rotherham United, Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers – all start life in Sky Bet League One on the road.

A new-look Mansfield Town begin the Sky Bet League Two season away at Crewe Alexandra, and Lincoln City will be on their travels too, heading to Wycombe Wanderers in their first game back in the EFL. New boys Forest Green Rovers welcome Barnet to the New Lawn.

Festive period

Each EFL club will face four fixtures between 23rd December and 2nd January, in a period which could well shape the season.

Chris Wilder guided Sheffield United to a perfect record at this point last term, can he do so again with the Blades in the Championship? Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers, Derby and Sunderland await this time around.

Portsmouth, returning to Sky Bet League One, face three of the teams that beat them to League Two promotion in 2015/16 – AFC Wimbledon, Bristol Rovers and Northampton Town – in successive games.

Relegated pair Port Vale and Coventry City meet on Boxing Day, and the Sky Blues host another who dropped last season – Chesterfield – on New Year's Day.

Final day

The final weekend of last season produced some truly breathtaking moments, with Play-Off battles going down to the wire, sensational survivals and titles changing hands. More of the same, please!

Middlesbrough, relegated from the Premier League last season, sign off their 2017/18 season away at Ipswich Town, and can Thomas Christiansen go one better than Boro boss Garry Monk and earn Leeds United a shot at promotion? The Whites host Queens Park Rangers on 6th May.

League One and League Two finish a day earlier, and Scunthorpe host Bradford on the last game in a clash between two of the big hitters from the previous campaign.

Luton Town finished fourth last season and only lost four of their away games before suffering play-off heartache. Their final fixture of the coming campaign is on the road at Notts County, while Carlisle United – the other losing play-off semi-finalists – host Newport County, who miraculously survived relegation in the dying minutes of 2016/17.

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