London - Rafael Benitez's bid to lead Newcastle United back into the Premier League will start with an opening weekend trip to Fulham as the Championship fixtures for the 2016-17 season were revealed on Wednesday.
Benitez was unable to stop Newcastle crashing out of the top-flight in his brief spell as manager in the closing weeks of the season.
But the former Real Madrid and Liverpool boss ignored a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave St James' Park in the event of relegation and has set his sights on promotion from the second tier.
Newcastle will be under pressure to secure an immediate return to the elite and they kick-off at Fulham's Craven Cottage on Friday, August 5.
Aston Villa were also relegated to the Championship and have undergone major changes since their first demotion in 29 years.
Villa, now owned by China's Tony Xia and managed by former Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo, start with a testing trip to play-off runners-up Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday August 7.
Norwich City, the third club relegated from the Premier League, make their second tier return at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday August 6.
Elsewhere on the opening weekend, former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam will make his debut as Reading boss at home to Preston, Garry Monk will take charge of his first Leeds match at QPR, while Derby manager Nigel Pearson starts at home to Brighton.
Burton, playing their first ever season in the second tier, have a short journey to Nottingham Forest, Birmingham host Cardiff and new Rotherham boss Alan Stubbs has a home game with Wolves.
Bristol City host League One champions Wigan, Huddersfield are at home to Brentford and promoted Barnsley go to Ipswich.
Opening weekend fixtures (all Saturday, August 6 - unless stated)
Fulham v Newcastle United (Friday, August 5)
Birmingham City v Cardiff City
Blackburn Rovers v Norwich City
Bristol City v Wigan Athletic
Derby County v Brighton
Huddersfield Town v Brentford
Ipswich Town v Barnsley
Nottingham Forest v Burton Albion
Reading v Preston North End
Rotherham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Queens Park Rangers v Leeds United (Sunday, August 7)
Sheffield Wednesday v Aston Villa (Sunday, August 7)