So this week in Championship offseason ridiculousness, a fake 2016/17 fixture list floated around the internet for awhile before the FA powers that be said it wasn't real. The real one comes out in a few weeks, and we at Through It All Together started thinking...
... what matches are we really looking forward to in 2016/17?
The six new teams in the Championship this season all provide different levels of intrigue, and some of us picked those for this week's question: which team do you most look forward to playing in 2016/17? Some of us went with our old favorites, others went with season specific matches, but we're all excited to see how Garry Monk's squad performs in our favorite matchups. What about you?
Back with you this week: Anthony Linley and Matt Robinson are from Yorkshire, Ben Mallis is from Perth, Australia, and Johnny Wakefield is from Charlotte, North Carolina in the States. All are "all Leeds," all have brought you coverage throughout the season, and all will try to answer the questions we present every Wednesday to the best of their ability. It's not a quiz show, but it should give you some insight into them as fans and writers alike.
And at the end, in the comments, don't forget to let us know how you'd answer the question of the week.
The Weekly Wednesday Roundtable... begins now.
What Championship team do you most look forward to playing in 2016/17 and why?
Ben Mallis: I cannot wait until we play Fulham this season. It may strike you as a weird selection, but having grown up in a house full of Fulham-loving maniacs, this is the biggest match for me each year. I mean, the Leeds v Fulham rivalry is probably bigger in my Australian backyard than it is anywhere else in the world.
My brother is a lifelong Fulham fan and the best match day each year is when we venture down to try smoke those inferior Whites. I saw United play in person for the first time at Craven Cottage, and the trip down to London brings back great memories of losing my Leeds United virginity.
We are undefeated over our past three encounters against Fulham, a feat which brings me endless joy and long may it continue. Plus, it allows us all to antagonise Ross McCormark, never a bad thing. How is that transfer request working out for you, Ross?
And the cherry on top of it all, the matchup produced this highlight you might have seen before.
Oh the glory of our savour Lewis Cook.
Anthony Linley: Ever heard the term too big to go down? Newcastle have been down to the Championship too recently and I've been to St. James Park before. Therefore, my pick of fixtures for next season would be Aston Villa away. A club previously proud of their lengthy stay in the top tier and the feeling they were too big a club to come down. That doesn't just apply to any one club as we as Leeds fans know all too well.
The Championship fixtures will be released on June 22, and first thing, I will be checking the Through it all Together pages to see exactly when this fixture date is. I have never been to Villa Park and it's a must go to game for me. I cannot wait for this one. Let's hope we get revenge over them for our loss in the League Cup Final. They will be hoping to bounce straight back up to the Prem, but lets show them nothing is guaranteed in the Premiership, especially when Leeds are in town.
Matt Robinson: Easy one for me: Newcastle United, for several reasons. Firstly, I am unfortunately good friends with several Newcastle fans and I love nothing more than winding them up about their grotesque owner, "Sports Direct.com Arena Stadium," and the fact that Alan Shearer is a shiny headed buffoon who knows very little about football analysis.
Naturally, they give me just as much grief about how corrupt Cellino is and how we are in a general state of disarray all the time, but that’s not the point.
Secondly... there's this.
Thirdly, pitting our wits against the club with the most money to spend in the entire division is always good, on top of the fact they have Rafa Benitez in charge who not so long ago won a Champions League final, makes it even more interesting.
I really don’t like Rafa either, couldn’t stand him at Liverpool and never understood how he got the Real Madrid job, so it’ll be good to get one over on him as well.
Finally, sportsdirect.com arena a.k.a St James Park is another close away day, and they will no doubt give us somewhere in the region of 6,000 tickets to help fill their empty seats. Should be a great day out.
Johnny Wakefield: Wigan, Burton Albion, Barnsley should be good matches this season, but nothing special there for me yet. Aston Villa, Newcastle, and N*rwich should be interesting too, especially if we can beat them (God, I hate N*rwich), and the SBN rivalries with 7500 to Holte and Coming Home Newcastle should be fun.
But for me, it's Derby County. It's always Derby County. Similar to Matt and Ben, a friend of mine supports Derby with a little too much passion, and it's always a good match to watch with friends, something I don't get to do very often here in the States.
On top of that, my early Leeds fandom was influenced a bit by The Damned United, and the history of Brian Clough and Don Revie makes Leeds-Derby a memorable match no matter the year.
I mean, I wonder why he never worked out...
There was a great write-up on the rivalry a few years back in the YEP... let me find it... there. Read that when you get a chance if you're young and wondering what the rivalry's really about.
Anyway, Derby-Leeds is fun for the history, fun for watching with my idiot friend, and a match that feels like a real English football match. Wish there were more like it. Thankful they lost in the play-off, and I'm looking forward to beating them twice this season.
That's it for this week's roundtable. Fulham, Aston Villa, Newcastle, and Derby County were our picks. Agree with them? Disagree? Then what's yours? Vote in the poll below and leave your take in the comments. Thanks for reading this week, enjoy your summer, and see you again next week. #MOT