What does the future hold for Fulham, West Brom and Sheffield United?

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2021-22 EFL Championship Season

7 August 2021 – 29 May 2022

The 2021-22 EFL Championship will be a tough slog for the trio of Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United following their relegation from the Premier League at the end of last season, but earning a direct return to the top flight is a realistic aim for all three.

Sheffield, who endured a miserable campaign through 2020-21 and parted ways somewhat acrimoniously with manager Chris Wilder, will be looking to recapture their energy and enthusiasm under new boss Slavisa Jokanovic.

"I'm excited to work in English football again and I'm looking forward to getting started with the players and staff, as well as meeting our passionate, loyal supporters as we prepare for the challenge in the Championship," said the Serbian, who is a promotion specialist after earning paths to the Premier League with both Watford and Fulham in recent years.

west brom
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West Brom parted ways with Sam Allardyce at the back end of last season and have moved to appoint Valerian Ismael – who did a great job at Barnsley last term – as his successor. The Frenchman is looking to instil a new identity and style of play for the Baggies, but hopes to keep them competitive as far as promotion is concerned.

“It's a big commitment from the club to want me to implement a philosophy I want for the next four years,” said Ismael. “My first task is to implement a new identity that the fans can enjoy and one where they can see the players are there for each other and give everything on the pitch to win games. We have a clear plan and vision of where we want to go.”

Sheffield United
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Fulham come into the season on the back of losing manager Scott Parker to Bournemouth – a major blow given the way he had bonded with the squad and brought them to the Premier League just over a year ago.

Nonetheless, club chairman Shahid Khan has emphasised that promotion is their aim for 2021-22: “We are organising and preparing a squad whose ambition is to achieve promotion straight back to the Premier League. As your Chairman, I am fully committed to that goal and am confident that we will be successful in our mission.”

He added, “It will be wonderful to return to Craven Cottage to celebrate matchdays with the Fulham Faithful. The passion in the stands and sense of belonging is one of the best things about Fulham Football Club, and we missed it terribly last season during a campaign when we needed it the most.”

Relegated teams’ opening three Championship fixtures

All times CAT

Sheffield United
Saturday 7 August, Birmingham City (H), 16:00
Saturday 14 August, Swansea City (A), 16:00
Wednesday 18 August, West Bromwich Albion (A), 21:00

West Bromwich Albion
Saturday 7 August, Bournemouth (A), 16:00
Saturday 14 August, Luton Town (H), 16:00
Wednesday 18 August, Sheffield United (H), 21:00

Saturday 7 August, Middlesbrough (H), 16:00
Saturday 14 August, Huddersfield Town (A), 16:00
Tuesday 17 August, Millwall (A), 20:45

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Published: 07/05/2021