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Club News

The new boys: part one

21 June 2016

Ahead of the release of the Sky Bet Championship fixtures on Wednesday morning, looks at some new faces in the division.

Aston Villa

Manager - Roberto di Matteo

Last season - Premier League (20th)

Following last season's tough Premier League campaign, a new dawn has appeared at Villa Park with the arrival of Chinese businessman Dr Tony Xia as owner and Roberto di Matteo as manager. 

The Italian's remit for the upcoming campaign is clear - get Villa back to the top flight at the first time of asking - and the former Chelsea boss will surely be looking forward to the challenge of trying to bring the good times back to one of England's most historic clubs. 

The new board at Villa Park must set about restored the club's traditional values while also getting ready for an assault on the Sky Bet Championship title but one thing is for certain, it promises to be an entertaining season in the West Midlands.

Newcastle United

Manager - Rafael Benitez

Last season - Premier League (18th)

Next season will see the return of two familiar faces to The City Ground, Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles, as Newcastle United reacquaint themselves with the Sky Bet Championship under the guidance of Rafael Benitez.

The Magpies' key objective during the close season was to convince the former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss to stay on at the St James Park helm and they were understandably delighted when Benitez put pen to paper on a three-year deal at the end of May.

Newcastle's squad could take on a different look next season with players such as Georginio Wijnaldum, Andros Townsend and Moussa Sissoko all considering whether they want to ply their trade in the second tier but with Benitez choosing to stay in charge, don't back against the Magpies being towards the right end of the table this time around.

Norwich City

Manager - Alex Neil

Last season - Premier League (19th)

Despite a brave battle against relegation last season, Norwich City have returned to the Sky Bet Championship after only one season away but Alex Neil will be hoping his side can mount another challenge for promotion in 2016-17.

The Norwich board have chosen to stick by manager Neil despite their relegation and the Scot will want to repay their faith by guiding his talented squad back to the top flight at the first time of asking.

A number of the club's key players including Nathan Redmond, Jonny Howson and Martin Olsson have all been linked with moves away from Carrow Road but the Canaries are always competitive in the Sky Bet Championship so expect no different this time around.

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