Fulham to face Brentford in first match when Championship resumes

FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Fulham v Newcastle United - Craven Cottage, London, Britain - May 12, 2019 Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic, Tom Cairney and team mates look dejected after conceding their third goal Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

(Reuters) - Promotion hopefuls Fulham and Brentford will kick off the action at Craven Cottage when the second-tier Championship season resumes on June 20 following the COVID-19 disruption, the English Football League (EFL) said on Monday.

Second-placed West Bromwich Albion will host Birmingham City later that day, while league leaders Leeds United visit ninth-placed Cardiff City on June 21 in the EFL's revised schedule for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.

The EFL said in a statement https://www.efl.com/news/2020/june/the-journey-continues-as-the-sky-bet-championship-schedule-and-tv-selections-confirmed that the three matches would be live on Sky Sports on the opening weekend, with a further eight games selected for coverage by the broadcaster in the next two rounds following the restart.

Season ticket holders will be able to watch all home and away games as they will be streamed live on club websites.

Soccer in England has been suspended since mid-March due to the novel coronavirus pandemic but the EFL had said earlier this month that it planned to restart the season on June 20 with games being played without fans in attendance.

The provisional date was subject to all safety requirements and government guidance being met and clubs receiving clearance from their local authorities to stage home matches.

Leeds United are top with 71 points after 37 matches, one point ahead of West Brom. There are nine rounds of matches left.

Fulham, Brentford, Nottingham Forest and Preston North End occupy the playoff spots while Charlton Athletic, Luton Town and Barnsley are the bottom three.

(The story refiles to delete extraneous word in first paragraph)

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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