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Five things to look out for on the EFL opening weekend

29 July 2022

The 2022/23 season is hours away, as the campaign gets underway tonight.

Here are five things to look out for, including some of the most highly anticipated clashes, local derbies and managerial debuts...

Kompany makes managerial bow

New Burnley boss Vincent Kompany will make his managerial bow in English football with the Clarets. The former Manchester City skipper, who most recently served as head coach at Anderlecht, are away to Huddersfield Town live on Sky Sports this evening.

The Terriers lost out to Nottingham Forest in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final, are also under new management. Danny Schofield, who spent a decade at Town as a player, suceeded Carlos Corberan at the helm in the summer.


Worth the wait 

The wait is finally over for Stockport County. After an 11-year absence from the League, the Hatters won promotion in style, clinching the National League title, and Dave Challinor’s side will get their campaign underway at home to Barrow.

Meanwhile, Forest Green Rovers will hit the road for their first-ever fixture in Sky Bet League One. The Sky Bet League Two champions will make the trip to Bristol Rovers, who also achieved automatic promotion in a dramatic final day showdown last season.


Local rivalries reignited

Newly promoted Wigan Athletic welcome North West neighbours Preston North End to the DW Stadium on the opening day. The two teams meet for the first time in the League since February 2020.

In League Two, there’s a Yorkshire derby on the cards as Bradford City manager Mark Hughes kicks off his first full season in charge at Valley Parade with the visit of Doncaster Rovers.

Back with a bang

This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of the grand opening of Sunderland's Stadium of Light on 30 July 1997, and, almost exactly to the day, the Black Cats will kick off their campaign at home to Coventry City in a televised clash selected for live broadcast on the Sunday.

After suffering relegation in 2018, the Wearsiders - who drew 0-0 with Ajax in a friendly as they christened the turf - are finally back in the Championship after their Play-Off Final win over Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley Stadium. 

Blockbuster openers

Two League One heavyweights, Sheffield Wednesday - who have made some impressive additions this summer - and Portsmouth, will lock horns on the opening day, as both Darren Moore and Danny Cowley look to mount their promotion charges.


Meanwhile, fellow promotion hopefuls Ipswich Town, who came into their own under Kieran McKenna at the tail end of last term, will pit their wits against Ian Evatt's Bolton Wanderers at Portman Road. 

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