The long awaited fixture list was announced this week and finally the English fans will see who they’ll face and when.
I’ve been treading through the Championship fixtures in order to find those poor sides who have a particularly difficult start to the season.
A hard start to a season can either have two effects: Lower morale and lead your team to some terrible form, or it’ll rile your side up and could produce a promotion push.
Anyway, here are the top five teams with the hardest starts to the Championship season 2015/2016:
5. Leeds United
Leeds are looking to compete for the the top six next year despite a disappointing 15th place finish last season.
Leeds host newly-relegated Burnley on the opening day of the Championship season, and then have a run of three games against Reading, Bristol City and Sheffield Wednesday.
They then have to face Derby County, Brentford, Ipswich and Middlesbrough all within the five games after that. After that it gets far more simple for Uwe Rosler’s new side – or so Leeds fans will hope.
4. Cardiff City
Last year probably wasn’t the season that Cardiff fans were hoping for following relegation from the Premier League. They ended up finishing 11th place, after aiming for an immediate return to the big time.
Cardiff open the season at home to Fulham, which isn’t that bad. After that, they then have newly-relegated QPR, Blackburn Rovers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest.
The Royals had a horrific campaign last year in the league but a fantastic FA Cup run, which saw them lose out in the semi-finals, saved their season. They did finish 19th in the League after a poor start under Nigel Adkins.
Steve Clarke is hoping Reading have a decent start to the campaign, opening at Birmingham City. They then face Ipswich, Derby, Burnley, and Middlesbrough in the five games afterwards, a tough ask for the Berkshire-based side.
Bolton’s season was pretty poor last year, and Neil Lennon is hoping to press on with his side and look to challenge for a top six place next season.
Their first two games are at home to Derby and then away to Middlesbrough. They then face newly promoted MK Dons, perhaps more winnable, and then face Forest, Blackburn, Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday.
After facing Huddersfield and Brighton, they play QPR and Burnley in the first two games of October. Tough.
A solid season from Charlton last year, progressing for a relegation-threatened side to one perhaps pushing for promotion, but after a hot start they fizzled out and finished in 12th placed.
But Charlton have, on paper, a very tough start to the season. They travel away three times in their first five. They start the campaign at home to newly-relegated QPR, they then face Derby, followed by Nottingham Forest, Hull and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Luckily for Addicks fans, it then begins to level out, and in the next ten games the toughest two they face are Middlesbrough and Brentford.
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