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Fixture Release Day: Rivalries to be renewed in 2017/2018

22 June 2017

The Sky Bet EFL fixtures have been announced for 2017/18, and although supporters will have cast an eye over who they face on the season's key dates, a derby date is usually always the primary focus.

This season there are plenty of rivalries to be renewed across the EFL, and here are just a few...

Sky Bet Championship

Arguably the biggest rivalry of the lot comes in South Yorkshire. Sheffield United’s return to the second tier of English football means the locals will get to experience the Steel City derby for the first time since 2012, when they meet with Sheffield Wednesday once again.

The two sets of fans don’t have to wait long for their first taste of derby action either, the pair face off at Hillsborough on 23rd September.

Last five meetings:

Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Sheffield United
Sheffield United 2-2 Sheffield Wednesday
Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Sheffield United
Sheffield United 3-2 Sheffield Wednesday
Sheffield United 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday

Another highly anticipated clash in the Championship is the Second City derby, which sees Aston Villa and Birmingham City meet again. These two were reunited in a league campaign last season for the first time since 2011, with the Villans picking up four points from the two fixtures.

The two sides will go head-to-head for the first time this term on 28th October at St Andrews.

Key moments: Click here to see more information from #FixtureReleaseDay

New Norwich City manager Daniel Farke will get his first taste of a derby day in English football when the Canaries travel to Portman Road to face Ipswich on 21st October, before inviting the Tractor Boys back to Carrow Road in February.

Up in the North East, Middlesbrough and Sunderland were both relegated from the Premier League and will again lock horns in 2017/18, and Boro's matches against Leeds United will no doubt have an added edge to them this season after manager Garry Monk swapped Elland Road for the Riverside.

Add in the small matter of the Severnside Derby between Bristol City and Cardiff City, the West London rivalries shared between Brentford, Fulham and Queens Park Rangers, and the Derby County versus Nottingham Forest duel, and the Sky Bet Championship looks set for some exciting derby days throughout the campaign.

Sky Bet League One

Just eight miles separate Fleetwood Town and Blackpool, yet the two sides have only met competitively on three occasions. Once in the FA Cup, and twice in the 2015/2016 League One campaign.

The two neighbours will meet again on Saturday 25th November at Highbury, before the return fixture at Bloomfield Road in April.

Wigan Athletic's immediate return to the division sees them rejoin the Greater Manchester trio of Bury, Oldham Athletic and Rochdale, while Peterborough United and Northampton Town will clash again after the Posh completed the double over the Cobblers last season.

Two divisions separated Rotherham United and Doncaster Rovers last season, but now, only approximately half an hour and 18 miles are between them after the Millers were relegated from the Championship, and Doncaster sealed promotion.

Darren Ferguson’s side will meet the Millers on 11th November at the Keepmoat, with the return taking place in February.

Sky Bet League Two

After a season apart, Staffordshire rivals Port Vale and Crewe Alexandra will get the chance to lock horns in 2017/18, with the Railwaymen a long way behind in the head-to-head.

The Valiants have won 34 matches to their opponents' 19, and the pair only have to wait until 26th August for the latest instalment.

Lincoln City’s return to the EFL means the reignition of their rivalry with Grimsby Town, much to the delight of both sets of supporters.

The two sides haven’t met in an EFL fixture since 2010, and on that day, it ended in a 2-2 draw. They will meet first this coming season on 30th September at Blundell Park.

In Lancashire, Accrington Stanley and Morecambe will meet in the league for the 11th successive season. In that stretch, which goes back to 2007/08, the two have met 20 times but Morecambe have managed only two wins, compared to Stanley's 11.

Sky Bet League Two will also see rivals Mansfield Town and Notts County go head-to-head, firstly in September at the One Call Stadium, before a March meeting at Meadow Lane.

Which derby are you most looking forward to? Let us know on Twitter via @EFL!

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