SOUTH Yorkshire derby dates have been revealed with the release of the 2012-13 football season fixtures.
Newly promoted Sheffield Wednesday begin their Npower Championship campaign away at Derby County, on Saturday, August 18.
Their South Yorkshire derby dates with local rivals Barnsley will first see the sides clash at Oakwell on December 15 and then at Hillsborough, March 30, 2013.
The much anticipated Boxing Day fixture didn’t disappoint drawing an away tie against former Premier League side Bolton Wanderers. Wednesday will end the season with a home game against Middlesbrough on Saturday 4th May.
The Owls are at home to Leeds United on October 20 and face them away on April 13.
Sheffield United’s first match in the Npower League One is at home against Shrewsbury (Aug 18).
Their first derby against relegated Doncaster Rovers is at home (Sept 18) with a return at the Keepmoat Stadium on New Year’s Day (Jan 1, 2013).
United will conclude the season with a home tie against Preston on Saturday 27th April.
Barnsley’s first match is at home against Middlesbrough (Sat, Aug 18) - Keith Hill’s men will be hoping to get a result against a team that beat them home and away last season. They play Leeds away (Oct 6), with the return at Oakwell next year (Jan 12).
Doncaster Rovers will open their first season back in League One with an away trip to Walsall. Rovers first Saturday home game will see the return of Sean O’Driscoll to the Keepmoat as he brings his new Crawley side to face Rovers (April 25).
Npower League Two side Rotherham United begin their season with a historic day - playing their first ever competitive home game at the New York Stadium against Burton Albion (Aug 18).
The Millers will play their first derby of the season away against newly relegated Chesterfield (August 25), with the return fixture at home next year (February 16). Rotherham conclude their season at home against Aldershot Town (April 27).
Chesterfield kick off the new season away at AFC Wimbledon, the first time the clubs will have ever met since the latter’s reformation in 2002. The Boxing Day fixture will see the Spireites face newly-promoted York City at home and finally concluding the season at home against Exeter on final day.
FULL LIST: For a full list of fixtures for Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster and Chesterfield, see The Star tomorrow, Tuesday, June 19, 2012.
* Manchester City will begin their defence of the Barclays Premier League with a home match against Southampton.
Roberto Mancini’s men, who edged Manchester United to the title last month, face Nigel Adkins’ newly-promoted side on August 18 at the Etihad Stadium.
United, pipped on the final day of 2011-12 by their city rivals, open with a match at Everton before taking on Fulham at Old Trafford the following weekend.
Arsenal, who finished third in 2011-12, kick-off with a home game against Sunderland, before taking to the road with trips to Stoke and Liverpool.
Two Europa League rivals meet on the opening day at the Sports Direct Arena, with Newcastle taking on Tottenham - currently managerless after the departure of Harry Redknapp.
Roberto di Matteo’s career as permanent Chelsea coach starts with a game at Wigan. The Blues’ first home game of 2012-13 is against Newcastle.
Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool open at West Brom - although the first three Anfield fixtures are more eye-catching, with Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United the visitors.
The team Rodgers left, Swansea, now managed by Michael Laudrup, begin at QPR.
West Ham’s return to the Premier League starts with a home match against Aston Villa, now under the leadership of Paul Lambert.
Fellow newcomers Reading will also have home advantage in their first top flight game for four years - with Stoke the opening-day opponents at the Madejski Stadium.
The other first-day match sees Fulham and Norwich meet at Craven Cottage in Chris Hughton’s first competitive game since replacing Lambert as Canaries boss.
Boxing Day sees Manchester United face Newcastle, while Sunderland and City meet at the Stadium of Light.
Newcastle against Arsenal is the most eye-catching of the May 19 fixtures, when newly-promoted West Ham and Reading play for what could be three priceless final day points at Upton Park.