Ten ‘best’ Championship fixtures

Ten best to look forward to
Ten best to look forward to
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The Championship fixtures were released today, with Brentford, Cardiff, Fulham, Norwich, Rotherham and Wolves adapting to new surroundings.

Here, Press Association Sport reporters pick 10 of the best match-ups.

Ipswich v Norwich (August 23)

In East Anglia they call this the Old Farm clash, with rivalries renewed after Norwich’s three years in the Premier League. At Carrow Road they still sing of Norwich’s 9-2 aggregate win in the 2010/11 season but they may find Ipswich a different proposition under Mick McCarthy.

Leeds v Huddersfield (September 20)

Always a keenly contested Yorkshire derby, Leeds and Huddersfield have served up some crackers over recent seasons with their last four meetings serving up 18 goals. This looks set to be a first taste of the fixture for the unknown Dave Hockaday - the former Forest Green man Leeds are set to appoint as their boss. He will hope to last that long, with owner Massimo Cellino having a long history of sacking managers.

Wigan v Brentford (October 18)

Wigan missed out in the play-offs last season but played with style throughout, as did Brentford who were promoted as runners-up. There is no surprise that they play in a similar way, with German Uwe Rosler - Wigan’s manager - having set things in motion at Brentford. This will be his first reunion.

Brighton v Fulham (November 29)

Brighton have long had a continental approach to their football and after Gus Poyet and Oscar Garcia they have appointed Sami Hyypia, the celebrated former Liverpool captain, as their manager. A former Bundesliga boss, Hyypia will be well aware of Felix Magath, the German tactician who is hoping to take Fulham back up at the first attempt.

Derby v Norwich (December 20)

Steve McClaren did a brilliant job at Derby after taking over early in the season and was unfortunate to stumble at the final hurdle at Wembley. Norwich will have some idea of whether the Neil Adams experiment is working by this point and a clash at Derby will be a true test of that.

Derby v Nottm Forest (January 17) The Championship can boast two former England managers in the shape of McClaren and Stuart Pearce, with the latter about to embark on a return to the club he spent nearly all his career with. Expectations will be high at Forest and, knowing how much the local derby with County means to the people of the city, Pearce will be up for this.

Blackburn v Blackpool (February 21)

Last season was one of calm at Blackburn after the nonsense of recent years, with Gary Bowyer earning real plaudits for the work he did at Ewood Park. Rovers fell just short of the play-offs and will be set for another crack this time around. By February, this clash against local rivals Blackpool - now managed by Jose Riga - should be a marker of where they are at.

Rotherham v Sheff Wed (March 21)

Steve Evans may appear a divisive character but his managerial record is beyond question and he will love the chance to ruffle some feathers in the Championship. There is no love lost between the promoted Millers and Wednesday - now with new money after a takeover - and if Rotherham are to make another promotion assault this could be a key moment.

Fulham v Middlesbrough (April 25)

Middlesbrough went through a rebuild under Aitor Karanka last season with fans hoping the fruits will come next time out after an additional period. The Spaniard will be looking to join old mentor Jose Mourinho in the Premier League and if his masterplan comes off, this meeting by the Thames against another promotion candidate could be vital.

Norwich v Fulham (May 2)

City fans will be hoping to have the champagne on ice come this game with an immediate return to the Premier League demanded. Fulham were dumped out of the top-flight too and also have aspirations of an instant response so this last-day clash appears to be perfectly scheduled.