Fixture release day: Everything Dons fans need to know ahead of the 2021/22 schedule being released
The anticipation and excitement builds as fans' Saturdays get booked up
The excitement and anticipation really begins to build for the new season when the fixture lists are unveiled - and that all gets revealed tomorrow (Thursday).
Russell Martin's side finished 13th last season, but were within two games of securing a play-off spot and could have finished as high as ninth with a on the final day of the season.
Heading into the new campaign, Dons will be looking to improve again, though the division is already shaping up to be the hardest it has been in many years. The likes of Sunderland, Wigan Athletic and Ipswich Town have all secured new ownership recently, while Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham will want an immediate return to the Championship after suffering relegation last time out. And then there are the likes of Oxford and Portsmouth who will be desperate to escape the third tier after several close calls in recent years, and newly promoted Bolton Wanderers will also be fancied after coming up from League Two.
It promises to be a busy summer of football, with Euro 2020 continuing until July 11 and the EFL season getting underway just four weeks later. The new EFL campaign gets underway on Saturday, August 7.
Clubs will return to pre-season training at the start of July, while the first friendlies will get underway soon after. The Championship, League One and League Two seasons begin a week earlier than the Premier League, with the top tier starting on August 14.
When are fixtures released for the Championship, League One and League Two 2021/22 seasons?
The fixtures will be released at 9am on Thursday, June 24. The fixtures will be posted on the Citizen website as soon as they are announced.
When do the EFL seasons start?
The season will get underway on Friday, August 6, with the majority of opening games across the EFL being played on Saturday, August 7.
What about the Carabao Cup?
The Carabao Cup first-round draw will take place live on Sky Sports at 3:40pm on Thursday, June 24.
A total of 35 fixtures will be drawn for round one, which includes EFL Cup debutants Sutton United, and newly promoted Hartlepool United. Sheffield United will be included, while fellow Championship newcomers West Bromwich Albion and Fulham join the competition in round two alongside the Premier League clubs that are not competing in Europe.
The round one draw will see teams drawn in Northern and Southern sections, with matches scheduled to take place week commencing August 9. Clubs are able to mutually agree an alternative date between July 31 and August 4.
And the EFL Trophy?
The Papa John’s Trophy round draw will also take place live on Sky Sports on June 24 at the later time of 4:30pm. Find out who Dons have been drawn against here!The 16 Invited U21 teams will be placed into their respective Northern and Southern section groups, with the 48 EFL clubs placed into pre-determined groups prior to the draw. Consideration has been given to ensure travel time is minimised and recovery time is maximised for players.
Which U21 teams are taking part?
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Leeds United, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Wolves.
Who are the favourites for promotion from League One?
It may come as little surprise to see Sunderland as current favourites to escape League One, with odds of 7/1 offered at the moment. Sheffield Wednesday at at 8/1 to bounce back to the Championship immediately after being relegated from the second tier, with Charlton also at 8/1. Dons are currently 20/1 to win the title, but 13/2 to secure a spot in the Championship by any means.