Boro welcome early Leicester test

19 June 2013 04:17

Tony Mowbray is glad his Middlesbrough side will start the season with a home meeting against Leicester, believing it will provide him with a good marker for the campaign ahead.

City are at the Riverside on August 3, with both sides reflecting on disappointing ends to the 2012-13 run. Each was tipped for promotion but neither managed it, with Boro fading dismally after Christmas and Leicester losing in the play-offs.

Mowbray is ready to go again, though, and believes Leicester are the perfect opener. "Starting the season against Leicester will be a good test for us," he told Boro's official website. "They are an ambitious club who reached the play-offs last season and I'd expect them to be competing at the top end of the table this year. It's an interesting fixture because that's where we want to be."

Harry Redknapp's rebuilding mission at QPR will start when Sheffield Wednesday visit Loftus Road. Rangers are spending the summer licking their wounds after their high-profile relegation from the Premier League, and Redknapp has warned his big-name players they need to be ready for the second-tier's 46-game slog.

That will begin against Dave Jones' Wednesday, followed by a trip to Huddersfield a week later and then a home meeting with Ipswich.

Owen Coyle's first game in charge of Wigan will take him to Oakwell for a meeting with Barnsley. Coyle took the job this week after Roberto Martinez left the relegated FA Cup winners for Everton. The other side to have dropped into the Championship, Reading, host Ipswich, with manager Nigel Adkins set to try to win a fifth promotion.

"We know the demands of the Championship over 10 months, you're probably looking at 55 games. You have to have a squad who will all contribute. We have goals in mind, and we have players and staff who are course and distance for the Championship and know what is required mentally," Adkins said on Reading's website.

Play-off final losers Watford, who will be be adapting to the new overseas loan rule, start at Birmingham, while defeated semi-finalists Brighton are away to Leeds.

League One champions Doncaster kick off their second-tier return at home to Paul Ince's Blackpool, runners-up Bournemouth are at home to Charlton and play-off winners Yeovil head to Millwall for Steve Lomas' first game in charge.

The remaining opening-day games feature two of the Football League's 125th anniversary games - Burnley at home to Bolton and Blackburn at Derby - plus Nottingham Forest's hosting of Huddersfield.

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44