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Saturday 1 October 2016

Benitez to begin with Fulham trip

Rafael Benitez.
Rafael Benitez.

Rafael Benitez and Newcastle begin life in the English Football League with a new-season curtain-raiser at Fulham.

The Magpies, relegated from the Premier League, head to west London on Friday August 5 on the eve of the new EFL campaign.

Aston Villa, also relegated to the Championship and under the new management of Roberto Di Matteo, face a stiff-looking trip to play-off runners-up Sheffield Wednesday on the Sunday, with Norwich at Blackburn on the Saturday.

Elsewhere on August 6, promoted Burton have a short journey to Nottingham Forest, Birmingham host Cardiff and new Rotherham boss Alan Stubbs has a home game with Wolves.

Other new managers include Jaap Stam at Reading (at home to Preston), Garry Monk at Leeds (away to QPR on the Sunday) and Nigel Pearson at Derby (at home to Brighton).

To finish things off in the Championship, Bristol City host Wigan, Huddersfield are at home to Brentford and Barnsley go to Ipswich.

In League One, promoted champions Northampton start at home to Fleetwood while fellow new-boys Oxford, Bristol Rovers and AFC Wimbledon face Chesterfield, Scunthorpe and Walsall respectively.

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