West Brom and Burnley will be happier than most with their Championship openers

·3-min read
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The Championship fixture list has been released and the opening-day fixture is the first everyone looks for.

And for those fans dreaming of a title push, there are a few decent omens to spot from that first game.

Looking back over the 18 seasons of the Championship, the title winners are most likely to face an away game in their opener - 12 times the champions have been handed an away fixture to kick off their campaign.

Yorkshire opposition is the most likely, with 'God's Own County' providing the opposition for the team who went on to finish first on seven occasions. Midlands opposition comes next on four.

And delving deeper, three times the champions have been pitted against Middlesbrough on the opening day (twice at home), with Huddersfield also providing the opposition for the eventual champions on three occasions (twice away).

In fact, beating the Terriers on the opening day has led to Cardiff, Bournemouth and Norwich going on to be crowned champions.

This season, it is Burnley who kick off their season with a trip to Huddersfield, while West Brom are Middlesbrough's first opponents. Both games will be live on Sky Sports.

A win on the opening day isn't a must for any team with designs on winning the Championship, however. Only seven champions have won their opening day fixture, with six draws. In fact, in the first four seasons of the newly rebranded Championship, the team that won the league actually kicked off their campaign with a defeat.

And, looking back to last year, Fulham also made a stuttering start, drawing 1-1 at home. But at least it was Middlesbrough.

Season

Champions

Opening fixture

Result

2004/05

Sunderland

Coventry (a)

Lost 2-0

2005/06

Reading

Plymouth (h)

Lost 2-1

2006/07

Sunderland

Coventry (a)

Lost 2-1

2007/08

West Brom

Burnley (a)

Lost 2-1

2008/09

Wolves

Plymouth (a)

Drew 2-2

2009/10

Newcastle

West Brom (a)

Drew 1-1

2010/11

QPR

Barnsley (h)

Won 4-0

2011/12

Reading

Millwall (h)

Drew 2-2

2012/13

Cardiff

Huddersfield (h)

Won 1-0

2013/14

Leicester

Middlesbrough (a)

Won 2-1

2014/15

Bournemouth

Huddersfield (a)

Won 4-0

2015/16

Burnley

Leeds (a)

Drew 1-1

2016/17

Newcastle

Fulham (a)

Lost 1-0

2017/18

Wolves

Middlesbrough (h)

Won 1-0

2018/19

Norwich

Birmingham (a)

Drew 2-2

2019/20

Leeds

Bristol City (a)

Won 3-1

2020/21

Norwich

Huddersfield (a)

Won 1-0

2021/22

Fulham

Middlesbrough (h)

Drew 1-1

The article West Brom and Burnley will be happier than most with their Championship openers appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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