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Get ready to go; EFL fixtures released and Sunderland kick off v Derby on a Fri night at the SoL

Sunderland and the rest of the Championship got their road map for the season today. A tough opening six games for the Black Cats.

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

After 10 seasons in the top flight the realisation that Sunderland are no longer a Premier League outfit certainly hits today with the announcement of the 2017/18 Championship fixtures.

Sunderland welcome back second tier football with an opening home game against Derby on Friday 4th August. The Black Cats then travel to Bury for a League Cup first round tie - the draw was made last week.

Sunderland v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League
The Stadium of Light
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

The Lads' first away trip sees a trip to Norwich City on 12th August. And a now customary Boxing Day on the road has Sunderland at Sheffield United.

The Championship campaign will conclude with a home game against Wolves in what will hopefully be the culmination of a glorious promotion campaign.

Few will hold their breath for that right now though with Sunderland in a state of chaos amidst takeover speculation and lacking a manager with just over a week until the players return to training.

Games to look forward to also include Sheffield Wednesday away - third game in on 15th August, Boro at the Riverside on 4th November and at home on 24th February and games against Steve Bruce's Aston Villa at the Stadium of Light in March and at Villa Park in November.

The reality of being a Championship side will hit when we travel to Burton Albion for our first ever league contest against them (25th November). And our longest journey of the season will come on 10th February against Bristol City - a 588 mile round trip.

Burton Albion v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship
It is a far-cry from last season, swapping Stamford Bridge for the Pirelli Stadium
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Fans will notice far more midweek contests next season, and this is without the usual fixture changes that will see Sunderland play on Friday/Monday nights as the season progresses.

And with Sunderland being the biggest club in the Championship, there's a decent chance we will be on telly a fair few times next season - perhaps far more than when we were a Premier League outfit.

The regular campaign will continue until the weekend of 5th May 2018, when the Championship, League One and League Two all come to a close. The Championship Play-Off Final will take place on Saturday 26th May.

Anyway, here is the list in full:

04/08/2017 19:45 Derby County (h)

12/08/2017 15:00 Norwich City (a)

15/08/2017 19:45 Sheffield Wednesday (a)

19/08/2017 15:00 Leeds United (h)

26/08/2017 15:00 Barnsley (a)

09/09/2017 15:00 Sheffield United (h)

12/09/2017 19:45 Nottingham Forest (h)

16/09/2017 15:00 Hull City (a)

23/09/2017 15:00 Cardiff City (h)

26/09/2017 19:45 Ipswich Town (a)

30/09/2017 15:00 Preston North End (a)

14/10/2017 15:00 QPR (h)

21/10/2017 15:00 Brentford (a)

28/10/2017 15:00 Bristol City (h)

31/10/2017 19:45 Bolton Wanderers (h)

04/11/2017 15:00 Middlesbrough (a)

18/11/2017 15:00 Millwall (h)

21/11/2017 19:45 Aston Villa (a)

25/11/2017 15:00 Burton Albion (a)

02/12/2017 15:00 Reading (h)

09/12/2017 15:00 Wolverhampton (a)

16/12/2017 15:00 Fulham (h)

23/12/2017 15:00 Birmingham City (h)

26/12/2017 15:00 Sheffield United (a)

30/12/2017 15:00 Nottingham Forest (a)

01/01/2018 15:00 Barnsley (h)

13/01/2018 15:00 Cardiff City (a)

20/01/2018 15:00 Hull City (h)

27/01/2018 15:00 Birmingham City (a)

03/02/2018 15:00 Ipswich Town (h)

10/02/2018 15:00 Bristol City (a)

17/02/2018 15:00 Brentford (h)

20/02/2018 20:00 Bolton Wanderers (a)

24/02/2018 15:00 Middlesbrough (h)

03/03/2018 15:00 Millwall (a)

06/03/2018 19:45 Aston Villa (h)

10/03/2018 15:00 QPR (a)

17/03/2018 15:00 Preston North End (h)

31/03/2018 15:00 Derby County (a)

02/04/2018 15:00 Sheffield Wednesday (h)

07/04/2018 15:00 Leeds United (a)

10/04/2018 19:45 Norwich City (h)

14/04/2018 15:00 Reading (a)

21/04/2018 15:00 Burton Albion (h)

28/04/2018 15:00 Fulham (a)

06/05/2018 12:30 Wolverhampton (h)

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