Sheffield United: History gives Blades a head start

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Sheffield United will host Notts County on the opening weekend of the new season, the Football League have announced.

The match was selected for its “historical significance” as part of the governing body’s 125th anniversary celebrations.

Bramall Lane is the world’s oldest professional stadium while the visitors are the FL’s oldest club.

The rest of the 2013/14 fixture programme is scheduled to be unveiled at 9am this morning.

“Our clubs and their supporters are the heartbeat of the domestic game,” FL chairman Greg Clarke said. “Giving English league football a breadth and popularity that is unrivalled anywhere in the world.”

United, last term’s League One play-off semi-finalists, were yesterday poised to confirm their ‘released and retained’ list shortly. Lecsinel Jean-Francois will not be offered a fresh contract but could be invited to continue his rehabilitation from injury at Shirecliffe.

Fellow defender Danny Higginbotham will remain with United after arriving from Stoke City in January.

The new campaign kicks-off over the first weekend in August.