Fixtures 2018-19 - Middlesbrough: Former Boro boss Monk provides opening Riverside test

A SPICY home opener with Birmingham City - managed by former manager Garry Monk - awaits Middlesbrough in the first month of the new EFL campaign.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

After a first-day trip to the New Den to face Millwall on August 4 - where Boro were humbled last term - all eyes will be on the Riverside seven days later when Blues boss Monk makes his first return to the club following his pre-Christmas sacking last season.

Boro’s second away appointment of 2018-19 sends them to Bristol City on August 18 - with the Teessiders having the opportunity to avenge last season’s insipid televised loss at Ashton Gate.

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Boro welcome Sheffield United to the Riverside on August 21 with last season’s fixture marred by crowd trouble after the match after the visitors saw a controversial late equaliser chalked off.

Boro boss Tony Pulis is then handed an intriguing reunion with former club West Brom - who axed him last autumn - with the Baggies visiting the Riverside on August 25.

Boro start September with a trip to Leeds United on September 1, with Elland Road having not been a happy venue in recent times and they end the month with another trip to Yorkshire opponents in Hull City on September 29.

Back-to-back games against White Rose opposition are on the menu for October. Boro visit Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday on October 20 and welcome Rotherham three days later.

Pulis heads to former club Stoke on November 3.

Boro start December at home to Aston Villa - who beat them twice at the Riverside last term and knocked them out of the play-off semi-finals - on December 1 before a home game with Blackburn on December 8 - where former Boro boss and captain Tony Mowbray is likely to receive a warm ovation.

Christmas home games follow against the Owls on Boxing Day and Ipswich three days later before Boro start 2019 with a New Year’s Day trip to Derby.

A home game with Leeds is on the agenda for February 9 and Boro visit Bramall Lane four days later. February also sees Pulis make his first return to the Hawthorns on February 2.

Boro host Hull on April 13 and Easter games see the Teessiders host Stoke on Good Friday (April 19) and visit Aitor Karanka’s Nottingham Forest on Easter Monday (April 22).

Boro’s final home game is against Reading on April 27 and they end the season at Rotherham on May 5.

AUGUST

4 Millwall A

11 Birmingham City H

18 Bristol City A

21 Sheffield United H

25 West Bromwich Albion H

SEPTEMBER

1 Leeds United A

15 Norwich City A

19 Bolton Wanderers H

22 Swansea City H

29 Hull City A

OCTOBER

2 Ipswich Town A

6 Nottingham Forest H

20 Sheffield Wednesday A

23 Rotherham United H

27 Derby County H

NOVEMBER

3 Stoke City A

10 Wigan Athletic H

24 Brentford A

28 Preston North End

DECEMBER

1 Aston Villa H

8 Blackburn Rovers H

15 Queens Park Rangers A

22 Reading A

26 Sheffield Wednesday H

29 Ispwich Town H

JANUARY

1 Derby County A

12 Birmingham City A

19 Millwall H

26 Bristol City H

FEBRUARY

2 West Bromwich Albion A

9 Leeds United H

13 Sheffield United A

16 Blackburn Rovers A

23 Queens Park Rangers H

MARCH

2 Wigan Athletic A

9 Brentford H

13 Preston North End H

16 Aston Villa A

30 Norwich City H

APRIL

6 Swansea City A

9 Bolton Wanderers A

13 Hull City H

19 Stoke City H

22 Nottingham Forest A

27 Reading H

MAY

5 Rotherham United A