Fixtures Day - Boro Start in the Lions Den
By Rob Nichols
Thursday 21 Jun 2018 10:04:00
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Middlesbrough will go into the Lions New Den for the first game next season playing away to Millwall on Saturday August 4th. The first home game sees us going head to head with the man that was appointed to lead Boro last summer, Garry Monk and Birmingham City come to the Riverside on Aug 11th. All fixtures are subject to being messed up over the next few weeks on the whim of SKY.

Fixture day feels like the start of something a chance to look ahead and savour and on the longest day of the year see where we will be wearing three pairs of socks and freezing half to death in the Boro cause next winter.

Manager Tony Pulis will have a few short, hectic few weeks before the Transfer Window slams shut on the verge of the season starting. But this will be his first pre season and an opportunity to transform a play off side to an automatic promotion squad. Now he knows where and when those campaign battles will be played out.

That first game means, summer football, as the school holidays will have barely begun when Boro start off the new season against opponents that proved to be one of the surprise packages last term. Neil Harris led Millwall from the third tier to the verge of the Championship football before the wheels came off late doors in that defeat at the Boro.

Boro already knew that our first EFL Cup opponents would be Notts County, visiting Riverside on the week of Monday 13 August. We then face a long haul down to Bristol City on Saturday Aug 18th. Brissel were one of the high fliers early doors last season and we don't often bring a lot back excepting defeat and recriminations from Ashton Gate.

Boro will actually play at home four times in league and cup in August. Probably bad news for the Boro coffers as that is four times families will be away on their jollydays.

There is no Sunderland derby game so we had better pick out the red card fest that is the Tees/Aire derby. Sorry, non derby, allegedly. We don't have very long to wait, playing at Elland Road in the first weekend in September, which means new Leeds manager, Marcelo Bielsa, will not have been sacked at that point. Not quite.

Aitor Karanka's Forest and Frank Lampard's Derby both visit the Riverside in September, 6th and 27th respectively. So, they should also both still be in their jobs at that point. Boro play away at newly relegated Stoke City on November 3rd. Will the two teams be contesting near the top of the table by then? Our always popular trip to the terrace of Griffin Park will be later that month on Saturday 24th November.

Boro “welcome” our play off nemesis Aston Villa to the Riverside at the start of December. I wonder if the Villains will be still able to pay their wage bill by that point of the season?

But remember do not rush to book your train travel yet as some of the first crop of fixtures will be scrambled up for satellite tv over the next few weeks.

Going to the end of the campaign there are six fixtures in April, with loads of miles involved. Aways at Swansea, Bolton and to the City Ground, Nottm Forest. We entertain Hull, Stoke (Good Friday - 19th) and finally the last home game of the season is against Reading on Sat 27 April.

Boro finish the season with a transatlantic trip to New York, well not quite, the madly named New York Stadium of newly promoted Rotherham is our very last fixture of the season a 12.30pm kick off on Sunday 3rd May. The one fixture you can count on not to change. Let's hope that it is a promotion party in south Yorkshire.

Up The Boro #UTB




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