We all know that every game is worth three points in the Sky Bet Championship – no more or less than any other. But that’s not to say that certain games don’t carry more significance…
Whether it’s getting off to winning start, going on a run over the Christmas period, beating a local rival or finishing with a bang… there are always a few fixtures that jump off the page.
So here’s a look at some of the match-ups that catch the eye…
Always an important one – no better way than greeting in the new season than by getting off to a winning start! Of course, this year we host Colchester United first in the Carabao Cup, but our Championship fixtures get going away at Derby County on Saturday 12th September. A week later, we welcome Barnsley to Madejski Stadium.
Taking a tumble from the top tier
Any club who comes down from the Premier League is keen to get straight back up there… and Watford will be our first test of that nature when they come to Madejski Stadium on Tuesday 20th October. Norwich City visit RG2 on Wednesday 16th December, and AFC Bournemouth do the same on Saturday 30th January.
In terms of our trips to those opponents, the Vitality Stadium is first to play host on Saturday 21st November, and then it’s late season visits to Vicarage Road on Saturday 10th April and Carrow Road on Saturday 1st May.
Leaping up from League One
Coventry are back in the Championship – but our visit will be in fact to Birmingham’s St Andrew’s, where the Sky Blues are currently playing their games, on Saturday 31st October. Our visits to Adams Park and the New York Stadium come back-to-back on Tuesday 23rd and Saturday 27th February respectively.
Meanwhile we’ll host Wycombe on Tuesday 20th October, Rotherham on Saturday 24th October, and Coventry on Tuesday 19th January.
All three of our visits to London this season come within the space of a month – Millwall first on Wednesday 25th November, then QPR on Saturday 12th December, and finally a first visit to Brentford’s new ground on Saturday 19th December.
But those clubs don’t visit Madejski until the new year – Brentford travel to RG2 first on Saturday 16th January, then Millwall come to town on Saturday 13th February, and QPR complete the set on Saturday 20th March.
Nothing quite like a packed Christmas schedule where there are plenty of points on offer in a short space of time…
Boxing Day falls on a Saturday this year and kicks off that festive run – Luton Town come to town on Saturday 26th December. But then it’s two long away trips – first Swansea City on Tuesday 29th December, and then Huddersfield Town on Saturday 2nd January.
This season’s Easter games are a reverse of the opening two matches of the season – first it’s a trip to Barnsley on Good Friday 2nd April, and then hosting Derby County on Easter Monday 5th April.
With UEFA Nations League fixtures set to restart and any number of things to play for all over the world, there are four scheduled breaks for internationals this season.
The first comes on the weekend of Saturday 5th September before the season starts (although Carabao Cup games will go ahead), and then over the weekends of Saturday 10th October, Saturday 14th November and Saturday 27th March.
We missed having you up in Blackburn last season for Inflatables Day… although Chris Kamara did get involved.
This year, we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to have plenty of fans able to join us at Norwich when our away games end at Carrow Road on Saturday 1st May.
Our final outing
And then the regular season comes to a close the following weekend when we host Huddersfield Town on Saturday 8th May. Of course, there’s potential for the campaign to go on longer with the incentive of play-offs to play for – the final takes place at Wembley over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend of Saturday 29th-Monday 31st May.