Football League fixtures: Newcastle kick off with a sad sense of déjà vu

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The Independent Football

When Newcastle United won 3-2 at West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League in early February to move five places clear of the relegation zone, their fans hoped fears of the drop had been assuaged.

However, a run of just one win in the following 13 league games sent the Magpies down with the Baggies and the meeting of the two at the Hawthorns on the opening weekend of the Championship season will provide a reality check for those from the North-east.

Newcastle's first home game in the second tier comes seven days later against Reading, with a trip to Queen's Park Rangers ending the regular campaign on 2 May .

Neighbours Middlesbrough kick off with the visit of Sheffield United to the Riverside on 8 August, before trips to Swansea City and Scunthorpe. Gareth Southgate's side finish with a trip to promoted Leicester, with this season's Tyne-Tees derbies taking place on 19 December and 13 March.

Leicester open with a home game against Swansea and Ian Holloway's first game in charge of Blackpool is away to former employers QPR.

In League One, Charlton begin their first season in the third tier for 29 years by welcoming Wycombe Wanderers, while Southampton, who begin the season on minus 10 points following financial problems, host Millwall. Promoted Exeter travel to Elland Road to take on Leeds United and play-off winners Gillingham face Swindon.

Football League newcomers Burton Albion begin with a trip to Shrewsbury, while Torquay host Chesterfield. The League One and Two play-off finals are on 29 and 30 May, while the Championship showpiece takes place at Wembley a week earlier on 22 May – the same day as the Champions League final.

(All fixtures are subject to change)