West Ham face Cardiff in Championship opener in Sam Allardyce's first game in charge

17 June 2011 07:14
By Telegraph staff and agencies

9:00AM BST 17 Jun 2011


Tasked with leading the Hammers back to the Premier League following their relegation last month, the former Bolton boss would have hoped for an easier first opponent than the play-off semi-finalists, who are still hunting for a manager themselves after parting company with Dave Jones.

Allardyce has already stated his intent with the signing of long-term foot soldier Kevin Nolan from Newcastle, and following the clash with the Bluebirds, he will take his men into away games with Doncaster and Watford.

Former England manager Steve McClaren's first game in charge of Nottingham Forest is a slightly easier-looking encounter at home to Barnsley, while Ian Holloway's Blackpool, who offered so much to the Premier League during their brief stay, start life back in the Championship away to Hull.

The third side relegated from the top flight, Birmingham, will start their campaign at Derby, while League One champions Brighton will celebrate the opening of their new stadium with a home clash against Doncaster.

Third-tier runners-up Southampton face last season's nearly men Leeds at St Mary's while Peterborough, who beat Huddersfield in the play-offs to clinch the division's final place, start at home to Crystal Palace.

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Source: Telegraph

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