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Lampard's Derby start season at Reading – and all EFL fixtures

Frank Lampard and Derby County chief executive Mel Morris

Derby County will face Reading in Frank Lampard’s first game in charge of the Rams when the 2018-19 Championship campaign starts in August.

The match at the Madejski Stadium, on Friday, 3 August (20:00 BST), will kick off the English Football League season.

Stoke City’s first game back in the second tier after dropping out of the Premier League will be at Leeds United.

Fellow relegated sides West Brom and Swansea host Bolton and travel to Sheffield United respectively.

Former England boss Steve McClaren begins his time in charge of QPR with a trip to Preston on Saturday, 4 August, while new Ipswich boss Paul Hurst welcomes promoted Blackburn to Portman Road for his first game as Town boss.

League One champions Wigan are at home to Sheffield Wednesday while Rotherham, who won promotion via the play-offs, travel to Brentford on their return to the Championship.

Aston Villa, last season’s beaten Championship play-off finalists, go to Hull City on Monday, 6 August (19:45 BST).

Opening Championship fixtures

Friday, 3 August

  • Reading v Derby County (20:00 BST)

Saturday, 4 August, 15:00 BST kick-off unless stated

  • Birmingham City v Norwich City
  • Brentford v Rotherham United
  • Bristol City v Nottingham Forest
  • Ipswich Town v Blackburn Rovers
  • Millwall v Middlesbrough
  • Preston North End v Queens Park Rangers
  • Sheffield United v Swansea City (17:30 BST)
  • West Bromwich Albion v Bolton Wanderers
  • Wigan Athletic v Sheffield Wednesday

Sunday, 5 August

  • Leeds United v Stoke City (16:30 BST)

Monday, 6 August

  • Hull City v Aston Villa (19:45 BST)

New faces in the Championship

Former Chelsea and England midfielder Lampard signed a three-year contract with Derby and the first competitive match of his managerial career will be televised.

The 40-year-old is one of six new managers appointed by Championship clubs this summer, with Gary Rowett, his predecessor at Pride Park, joining relegated Stoke.

The Potters, whose 10-year stay in the Premier League ended in May, have one of the more intriguing games on the opening weekend.

They start the campaign at Leeds, who have appointed former Argentina, Chile and Athletic Bilbao manager Marcelo Bielsa on a two-year deal, on the first Sunday of the season, while Swansea’s first game under former Ostersunds boss Graham Potter will be an early-evening game at Bramall Lane.

Promoted trio settle in

Wigan, Blackburn and Rotherham all bounced back to the Championship at the first time of asking last season, with the Latics being handed a home game on the first Saturday of the season.

The Millers travel to a Brentford side who finished ninth last term, while Rovers will have to contend with a trip to a new-look Ipswich managed by Hurst.

Middlesbrough, beaten play-off semi-finalists in May, travel to last season’s surprise package Millwall, who narrowly missed out on a play-off spot.

The Championship season will end on Sunday, 5 May 2019.

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BBC Sport – Sport

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