Middlesbrough kick-off new season at home to Portsmouth

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MIDDLESBROUGH have been handed a home opener in the npower Championship – with Portsmouth visiting the Riverside on Saturday, August 6.

Tony Mowbray’s men, who finished last season in impressive fashion, then face two away games in Yorkshire – at Leeds on the 13th and Barnsley three days later on Tuesday, August 16.

Boro close the month with home games against Birmingham (20th) and Coventry (27th).

Sam Allardyce will start his career as West Ham manager with a tasty-looking opener at home to Cardiff, while Steve McClaren’s first game in charge of Nottingham Forest is a City Ground clash with Barnsley, while Blackpool start life back in the Championship away to Hull.

Birmingham go to Derby, while League One champions Brighton will celebrate the opening of their new stadium with a home clash against Doncaster.

Promoted Southampton face last season’s nearly men Leeds at St Mary’s, while Peterborough start at home to Crystal Palace.

Play-off final losers Reading will look to pick themselves up at home to Millwall. Elsewhere, Bristol City face Ipswich, Burnley meet Watford and Coventry take on Leicester.