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Our first look at every opponent in 2020-21 takes us to the newly promoted trio arriving from Sky Bet League One

10 August 2020

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In our first look at our opponents in 2020-21, we begin with the three teams newly arriving from Sky Bet League One...

We'll begin with the club who won the Sky Bet League One title and mixed winning football with an entertaining style of play - Coventry City.

It's been a long road back to the second tier for the Sky Blues, but they've certainly been on an upward trajectory since Mark Robins returned for a second spell in charge back in 2017.

City were in League Two upon Robins' arrival, but within a month he'd overseen a triumph in the final of the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley Stadium against an Oxford United side who included our very own Joe Rothwell in their starting XI that day.

More success was to come, with Robins masterminding promotion to League One in 2017-18 in his first full season in charge of the club.

After finishing in the top 10 in the division in 2018-19, Coventry romped to the title in the season just gone, losing only three times along the way.

The performances and results earned City a spot back in the Championship after eight seasons away from the second tier.

The last meeting...

The last encounter between Rovers and Coventry came in the Carabao Cup in August 2017, with goals from Corry Evans, Richie Smallwood and ex-City loanee Dominic Samuel earning Rovers a 3-1 win at the Ricoh Arena and a spot in the next round of the competition.

Next up is Rotherham United, who return to the Championship after a season away from the second tier following relegation at the end of the 2018-19 campaign.

Overseen by club legend Paul Warne, it was a big rebuilding job for the Millers manager last summer, with the likes of Ryan Williams, Will Vaulks, Semi Ajayi and Marek Rodak all departing from the New York Stadium.

Reinforcements were brought in in the form of big money buy Freddie Ladapo, Daniel Iversen, Adam Thompson and Dan Barlaser, to help the Millers bounce back to the Championship at the first time of asking.

Eye-catching performances and results saw Rotherham defeat eventual champions Coventry 4-0 along the way, whilst there were maulings against Bolton Wanderers and Peterborough United as well.

Having not lasted longer than a season in each of their last two Championship campaigns, Warne and United will be hoping for a longer stint in the division come the end of 2020-21.

The last meeting...

It was a day to forget for Rovers in the last meeting against Rotherham in March 2019, with the Millers winning by the odd goal in five.

Despite Amari'i Bell and Charlie Mulgrew getting on the scoresheet in South Yorkshire, a Semi Ajayi brace sandwiched in between Ryan Williams' close range finish saw Rotherham earn a narrow victory on home turf.

The final team coming up from Sky Bet League One is Wycombe Wanderers, who appear in the Championship for the first time in their history.

Blackburn-born and a self-confessed Rovers fan, Gareth Ainsworth is the EFL's longest-serving manager having been in charge of the Chairboys since September 2012, and he's the man behind Wanderers' incredible rise through the leagues.

The Buckinghamshire-based club were on the brink of heading out of the Football League when he first took over, but survival started a real adventure for the Chairboys supporters.

They only earned promotion to the third tier in 2017-18 and stabilised themselves in the division before last term's campaign to remember.

An excellent start saw Wycombe lose just once in their first 12 league games and despite a wobble at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, the points-per-game league table finish, following the league's suspension due to COVID-19, pushed Wycombe into the play-offs.

After seeing off Fleetwood Town over two legs, Wanderers faced local rivals Oxford in the showpiece final at Wembley, with Joe Jacobson's penalty securing a spot in the second tier of English football.

It continues their remarkable rise up the divisions under Ainsworth, a man who began his playing career with Rovers.

The last meeting...

Having delved into the archives, we've worked out that our meetings in 2020-21 will be the first ever time that Rovers and Wycombe will do battle.

However, we do have something in common - Simon Garner. The legendary Rover, who is of course our record goalscorer, spent two years with Wycombe Wanderers at the end of his playing career and still lives in the Buckinghamshire area.

Check back later in the week where we look at the three teams relegated from the Premier League - AFC Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich City.


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