Sunderland start at home to Oxford United, whilst Hartlepool travel to Maidstone United, as as fans of North-East clubs look ahead to the new football season
Jonathan Woodgate’s first test as Middlesbrough Head Coach will be against newly promoted Luton Town, as the fixtures for the English Football League Championship were released today.
The 19:45 away fixture will see Boro play on Friday 2nd August, live on Sky Sports, ahead of the main-body of weekend EFL fixtures.
Woodgate, who was revealed alongside his new look coaching team last week, will be hoping to get his side’s Championship campaign off to the perfect start, before Middlesbrough’s first home game of the season against Brentford (10th August).
The remainder of Boro’s August’s fixtures will see them take on Blackburn Rovers (A), Wigan Athletic (H), Millwall (H) and Bristol City (A).
Black Cats Promotion Charge
Sunderland will be looking to put the disappointment of last seasons playoff-final firmly behind them by bettering last season’s pair of 1-1 draw’s in their home game against Oxford United (3rd August).
The following week will see Jack Ross’ promotion hopeful’s travel to Portman Road to tackle Ipswich Town, who were relegated from the Championship last term.
In what looks a testing opening period, the Black Cats round off August with matches against Portsmouth (H), Rochdale (A), AFC Wimbledon (H) and Peterbrough (A).
Pool’s busy looking August
Further down in the footballing pyramid, Hartlepool United face a busy start to their campaign with 7 fixtures across August as they look to better last season’s 16th place finish.
First up is a trip to The Gallagher Stadium and Maidstone United (3rd August) before two home games against Harrogate Town (7th) and Ebbsfleet United (11th).
Craig Hignet’s men then travel to the South East to take on Braintree Town, before fixtures against Maidenhead (H), Dagenham & Redbridge (A) and Chesterfield (H).
Christmas and New Year Fixtures
The Christmas period – a period that can make or break teams aspirations – will see Boro take on Huddersfield Town at the Riverside Stadium on Boxing Day prior to two away trips to West Bromwich Albion (29th Dec) and Preston North End (New Year’s Day).
Sunderland have also been granted a home fixture on boxing day followed by two away trips.
The Mackems take on Bolton Wanderers at the Stadium of Light on the 26th, before travelling to Doncaster Rovers (29th) and Fleetwood Town (New Year’s Day).
In the National League, Pool’s fans will be anticipating a cracker of a Christmas period as the fixtures computer has produced a derby double header.
A game against Chesterfield (Away, 29th Dec) is the meat in the sandwich of a pair of games against local rivals Gateshead.
The initial fixture on boxing day will see Hartlepool make the short trip to the International Stadium before a return fixture at Hartlepool’s Victoria Park just a week later on New Year’s Day.
Naturally, fans of each of our North East clubs will be hoping the final fixtures of the 2019/20 campaign will be cause for celebration.
The final round, which is scheduled to take place on the weekend beginning the 2nd May, will see Middlesbrough travel to Hillsborough to play Sheffield Wednesday.
Sunderland are away to Rotherham United a day later, whilst Hartlepool United are scheduled to finish a week earlier (27th April) with a home game against Saltford City.