Leeds United handed Stoke clash on opening weekend as 2018-19 fixtures released

Leeds United and head coach Marcelo Bielsa will kick off the new Championship season at home to title favourites Stoke City.

Elland Road

Leeds have been handed a tough examination on the first weekend of the 2018-19 term against a club who have already spent close to £10m on new players following their relegation from the Premier League.

Leeds host Stoke on Sunday, August 5 before travelling to recent play-off semi-finalists Derby County for their first away game on Saturday, August 11, the initial home match for new Derby boss Frank Lampard.

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Those matches tee off a hard opening month in which United play newly-promoted Rotherham United at home (Saturday, August 18), Swansea City away (Wednesday, August 22), Norwich City away (Saturday, August 25) and Middlesbrough at home (Saturday, September 1).

Bielsa will face Gary Rowett’s Stoke at the Bet365 Stadium on January 19 while clashes with West Bromwich Albion are scheduled for The Hawthorns on November 10 and Elland Road on March 2.

Swansea, the third side to drop out of the Premier League, come to Leeds on February 13.

Meetings with Aston Villa have been lined up for December 22 at Villa Park and April 27 at Elland Road - United’s final home fixture - while United’s trip to Middlesbrough takes place on February 9.

Bielsa will get his first taste of Millwall, a ground where Leeds are traditionally prone to poor results, on September 15.

Boxing Day sees United host Blackburn Rovers while Nottingham Forest provide the opposition at The City Ground on New Year’s Day.

Over the Easter weekend, Leeds play Wigan at home on Good Friday, April 19, and Brentford away on Easter Monday, April 22.

Derbies against Sheffield Wednesday take place at Hillsborough on September 29 and Elland Road on April 13. Sheffield United visit West Yorkshire on March 16 while Leeds face a December 1 trip to Bramall Lane.

Ex-United boss Garry Monk makes another return to Leeds with his Birmingham City side on September 22.

Leeds, who finished 13th in the Championship at the end of the 2017-18 season, will wrap up their campaign away at Ipswich Town on May 5.

The club’s fixture list is subject to change with Sky preparing to announce its first batch of televised fixtures. United’s live matches ran well into double figures last term.