Clubs across the EFL will discover their fixture schedules on Thursday as 72 sides in the Championship, League One and League Two get planning for the 2021-22 campaign.
Following another thrilling EFL campaign, which saw Norwich City win the Championship title, the Canaries are set to return to the big time alongside Watford and Play-Off winners Brentford.
Of course, the Bees were promoted to the Premier League for the first time in their history – courtesy of a fine 2-0 victory over Swansea City beneath the famous arch at Wembley.
As those three clubs embark on a new adventure, it’s now time for others to put their plans in place as they seek a berth in the top-flight alongside European big-hitters such as Liverpool and Manchester United.
A large number of Championship clubs have previously had a taste of the Premier League – including the relegated trio of Fulham, West Brom and Sheffield United – while Hull City, Peterborough United and Blackpool complete that second tier line-up next season after winning League One promotion.
But which of them will be favourites when it comes to crunch time between this August and May next year?
Due to issues brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a delayed start and conclusion to the 2020/2021 domestic term – the end of which saw a limited number of fans return to stadiums. Not before time, either.
Indeed, because of that, there are only 34 days between the Euro 2020 final at Wembley (Sunday, July 11) and the opening day of the upcoming Premier League campaign (Saturday, August 14).
Of course, it might even be 33 days if two or more clubs are asked to play on the Friday night, due to TV requests.
Unfortunately for those Championship players who are involved at the ongoing festival of football – which is being held across 11 host cities on the continent – they will have even less rest time to enjoy, should they embark on a late run at the tournament.
Indeed, the Championship and EFL kick-off is scheduled for seven days prior on Saturday, August 7.
Which three clubs do you think will win promotion to the Premier League next season? Let us know in the comments section below.
Key dates for the 2021/2022 EFL season
– Thursday, June 24: Fixtures are released at 9am (Championship, League One, League Two)
– Saturday, August 7: Opening day of the season (A live TV game is likely to be screened on August 6)
– W/C Monday, August 9: Carabao Cup First Round
– Sunday, February 27 (2022): Carabao Cup Final
– Saturday, May 7 or Sunday, May 8: Final day of the season (Championship)
– Saturday, May 21: League One Play-Off Final
– Saturday, May 28: League Two Play-Off Final
– Sunday, May 29: Championship Play-Off Final