The Football League have just officially announced the new season's opening fixtures ahead of the full schedule release set for later this week. For the second year running, Bolton Wanderers and Burnley will revive the Owen Coyle derby at Turf Moor. The match will take place on 3 August and it is a derby specially earmarked by the Football League as part of its 125th anniversary. As part of the date's continued celebrations, Burnley v. Bolton is one of six special games to be played on the opening weekend.
For those that don't remember, Bolton travelled to Turf Moor on opening day last season with excitement and anticipation extremely high among the fanbase. Unfortunately for Wanderers, the celebrations were short-lived as Burnley goals on either side of the halftime break beat Bolton 2-0. It would be the start of a long stretch of ten games from which the Whites would only pick up 11 points, ultimately leading to Owen Coyle's sacking.
In a statement released by the Football League, Chairman Greg Clarke said:
"For 125 years, Football League clubs have delivered a compelling spectacle, week after week.
"In the process, attracting a total audience of more than 2.2 billion people and building indelible relationships with their local communities.
"Our clubs and their supporters are the heartbeat of the domestic game, giving English league football a breadth and popularity that is unrivalled anywhere in the world.
"We look forward to celebrating 125 years of incredible matches, unforgettable moments and intense footballing rivalry."
The six specially selected fixtures are:
Burnley v. Bolton Wanderers
Derby County v. Blackburn Rovers
Preston North End v. Wolverhampton Wanderers
Sheffield United v. Notts County
Newport County v. Accrington Stanley
Hartlepool United v. Rochdale