Sky Sports confirms opening live 2017/18 EFL games

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Sky Sports has announced which matches will kick off its live coverage of new Sky Bet EFL season in August.

The broadcaster will show three fixtures from the Championship on the opening weekend of the English football season, at the Stadium of Light on Friday, 4 August, with a tantalising clash between Sunderland and Derby County.

This will be followed by Aston Villa versus Hull City and Bolton Wanderers against Leeds United rounding off the opening weekend of live matches.

In addition, Sky Sports has also confirmed its opening live games of the newly-named Carabao Cup, which will kick off with two live ties from Wednesday, 9 August, with Colchester entertaining Aston Villa, while Bury take on Sunderland on the following night.

Sunderland will be looking for a swift return to the Premier League following relegation last season, while perennial promotion contenders Derby will have their sights set on reaching the top flight for the first time since 2008.

Saturday sees Aston Villa’s Steve Bruce take on his former employers, as the Claret and Blue take on Hull at an expectant Villa Park, then on Sunday it’s Lancashire v Yorkshire as recently promoted Bolton face Leeds.

These opening matches form part of Sky Sports’ exclusively live coverage of 127 matches from the 2017/18 Sky Bet EFL season – including the play-offs – as well as 15 matches from the Carabao Cup and at least three from the Checkatrade Trophy.

As during the 2016/17 season, the EFL and Sky Sports have again committed to give clubs and supporters at least five weeks’ notice ahead of any EFL matches being selected for live television coverage.

The EFL will publicly announce any fixture changes within three working days of their selection, following club consideration, in order to give EFL supporters as much time as is possible to allow for any alterations to travel plans that may be required.

If both the EFL and Sky Sports are unable to meet this timeframe, then the clubs involved have the ability to choose not to be broadcast live on television.

However, if both clubs mutually agree to the rescheduling of the fixture within this five-week period then the game will be televised on the new date.

Commenting on its opening live EFL matches for the 2017/18 season, Gary Hughes, Sky Sports’ head of football, said: 

“The first three live matches of the new season epitomise the Championship – big names, big clubs and impossible to predict. All six teams will feel they belong back in the Premier League and we can’t wait to see how they begin their respective campaigns.

“The first game can shape a season so they’ll be desperate to impress in front of the cameras.”

Alongside its flagship 126 matches from the Premier League season, other key football on Sky Sports during the 2017/18 season includes the final group matches and play-offs from the FIFA World Cup European Qualifiers, 30 matches from the SPFL Premiership, featuring every Old Firm derby exclusively live, the Scottish Cup, and Spain’s La Liga.

FRIDAY 4th AUGUST

Sunderland v Derby County
Sky Bet Championship

19:45

SATURDAY 5th AUGUST

Aston Villa v Hull City
Sky Bet Championship

17:30

SUNDAY 6th AUGUST

Bolton Wanderers v Leeds Utd
Sky Bet Championship

16:30

WEDNESDAY 9th AUGUST

Colchester Utd v Aston Villa
Carabao Cup 1st Round

19:45

THURSDAY 10th AUGUST

Bury v Sunderland
Carabao Cup 1st Round

19:45

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