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GETTING TO KNOW YOU....

20 June 2016

We take a closer look at Town's opponents for the upcoming season, ahead of Wednesday's fixture release day...

Aston Villa

Recently relegated Aston Villa have a busy summer ahead of them, with new Manager Roberto Di Matteo looking to rebuild the squad to secure promotion back to the Premier League on the first time of asking.


Nickname – The Villans
Ground – Villa Park
Manager – Roberto Di Matteo
Key Player – Rudy Gestede
Town Link – Villa were engaged in a two-horse race with Town for the First Division title in 1980-81.

Barnsley

Returning to the Championship after a two-year absence, the Yorkshire team, led by now permanent boss Paul Heckingbottom will be looking to establish themselves as a Championship club once again.


Nickname – The Tykes
Ground – Oakwell
Manager – Paul Heckingbottom
Key Player – Sam Winnall
Town Link – George Burley’s side achieved promotion to the Premier League in 2000 after defeating the Tykes in the Play-Off Final at Wembley.

Birmingham City

The 2011 League Cup winners will be looking to improve on their eventual unsuccessful push for the Play-Offs last term, with Gary Rowett again at the helm. A club takeover is on the cards and could see a busy transfer window for The Blues.


Nickname – The Blues
Ground – St Andrews
Manager – Gary Rowett
Key Player – Clayton Donaldson
Town Link – Town hold an impressive record against the Midlanders, having beaten them on 34 occasions. Β Β 

Blackburn Rovers

The former Premier League Champions will again be competing in the second-tier, although optimism remains at Ewood Park after Owen Coyle was handed the managerial reigns ahead of the new season. Β 


Nickname – Rovers
Ground – Ewood Park
Manager – Owen Coyle
Key Player – Ben Marshall
Town Link – Ipswich midfielder Jonathan Douglas started his career at Blackburn in 2000.

Brentford

Now entering their third successive season in the second tier, The Bees head into the new campaign under the stewardship of former Walsall boss Dean Smith, who arrived at Griffin Park midway through last term.


Nickname – The Bees
Ground – Griffin Park
Manager – Dean Smith
Key Player – Alan Judge
Town Link – Brentford were Play-Off semi-finalists alongside Town in the 14/15 season.

Brighton and Hove Albion

After finishing in third place last term- and missing out on promotion following Play-Off semi-final defeat to Sheffield Wednesday- the Seagulls will be hoping to go one better this season.


Nickname – The Seagulls
Ground – The Amex Stadium
Manager – Chris Hughton
Key Player – Tomer Hemed
Town Link – Town lead Brighton on the head-to-head rankings, having beaten The Seagulls on 31 occasions.


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