DONCASTER ROVERS face a difficult looking Roses double-header to start their League One campaign in 2015-16.
On the opening day, Rovers welcome much-fancied Bury, who recently beat them to the signing of Port Vale striker Tom Pope, who is set to make his debut at the Keepmoat Stadium on August 8.
Paul Dickov’s Rovers, in action at home to Leeds United in the Capital One Cup in the midweek, then head over the Pennines for their first away assignment of the campaign against another Lancastrian side tipped to do well in the forthcoming season in Gary Caldwell’s relegated Wigan Athletic (August 15), who endured home toils last term.
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Southend, whose assistant-manager is ex-Rovers boss Dave Penney, head to the Keepmoat on August 18.
The highlight of September for Rovers is a trip to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United on September 26, with the return coming at the Keepmoat in February.
Home derbies follow in October against Barnsley (October 3) and Bradford (October 17), with a trip to Millwall (October 10) sandwiched in between.
Dean Saunders makes his Rovers return with Chesterfield on November 24 and Doncaster also entertain near-neighbours on Boxing Day in Scunthorpe United, who they have beaten in their last seven consecutive outings.
Rovers end 2015 at Dickov’s former club Oldham (December 28) with their first home game of 2016 being against Port Vale (January 9).
Rovers head to Glanford Park to face Iron on February 6, with February looking a mouth-watering month with three derbies fitted in.
Rovers welcome the Blades on February 13 and visit Oakwell seven days later.
A trip to Valley Parade is Doncaster’s final derby date on March 12 and Rovers head to Crewe in their final away game of the campaign on April 30.
Rovers host Burton on the final game of the season on May 8.
Five key dates
September 26: Sheffield United v Doncaster
October 3: Doncaster v Barnsley
December 26: Doncaster v Scunthorpe
February 13: Doncaster v Sheffield United
February 20: Barnsley v Doncaster