2017/18 Championship Fixtures: Is this Sheffield Wednesday's toughest month?

There are a few tricky months for Carlos Carvalhal to overcome throughout the season
There are a few tricky months for Carlos Carvalhal to overcome throughout the season
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The fixtures are out and now Sheffield Wednesday fans are planning their season and working out the best and the worst of the hand they've been given.

Kicking off against Preston North End isn't exactly the easiest of starts but it could have been a lot worse and it's interesting to look through the months and pick out what could potentially be a key period in the Owls season.

Of course, given the length of time they've been missing from the schedules, everyone is going to look towards the return of the Steel City Derby.

SEPTEMBER

Sheffield United travel to Hillsborough on September 23 and that in itself comes within a very tricky month.

Wednesday will begin September with a home double-header in quick succession against Nottingham Forest on the Saturday and Brentford on Tuesday, followed by an always-difficult trip to Neil Warnock's Cardiff City.

Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal

Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal

Then comes the first derby, which is likely to be broadcast live so could well be on the Sunday, meaning the Owls would have a short turnaround before traveling to Birmingham, which at this stage is penciled in for the Tuesday night.

And if that hasn't proven difficult enough, then the final game of the month sees another big Yorkshire derby with Leeds United heading to Hillsborough on September 30.

Six big games - if they get out of that with a 100% record, they should give Wednesday the trophy then!

FEBRUARY

Carlos Carvalhal takes this place in the Barnsley dug-out in February

Carlos Carvalhal takes this place in the Barnsley dug-out in February

February looks to be another one where Wednesday would do well to come out unscathed - two teams among the favourites to get promoted, a midweek visit to a place few like going to and another South Yorkshire derby.

After what will be an energy-sapping December and January, Wednesday begin February at home to Birmingham before making the trip to Barnsley the following week.

Then it's highly-fancied Derby County at Hillsborough and a Tuesday night run down to the capital to face newly-promoted Millwall.

Finishing off February, Aston Villa, another team expected to be challenging, head to S6.

APRIL

While all of that is enough to bring you out in a cold sweat, it's April that will really test Wednesday and provides arguably their toughest period of the campaign.

Another six-game month with among the list, four teams who should be there or thereabouts and the run-in to what fans will hope to be a glorious season end.

It begins with a trip to Sunderland on Easter Monday (coming off the back of a home game against Preston on the Saturday), followed by the visit of last season's play-off semi-finalists Fulham.

That's quickly followed by another Tuesday night journey to London whether Carlos Carvalhal's side will face QPR.

After that, it's a potentially difficult clash with Hull City at the KC Stadium and another play-off hopeful, Reading head to Hillsborough the following week.

The penultimate game of the season sees the Owls swoop on Molineux for a match-up with Wolves.

It's fair to say April could make or break them. But then again, such is life in the Championship, there's no guarantee of an easy spell at any time of the year.

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY'S FULL FIXTURE LIST FOR 2017/18