The EFL have this morning released the draft fixtures for 2017-18 – and the Hatters have been handed a home date with a familiar face to kick-off the Sky Bet League Two campaign on Saturday 5th August!
For the second season in a row manager Nathan Jones' former club YEOVIL TOWN will provide the opposition for the opening home league game, only this time it will be a week earlier than last term, when the Glovers travelled to Kenilworth Road on the second Saturday.
That match ended in a 1-1 draw with Stephen O'Donnell scoring what proved to be the Town's goal of the season.
The Somerset club also headed to Bedfordshire for a Checkatrade Trophy quarter-final in February – the Hatters running out 5-2 winners in an entertaining tie with Isaac Vassell netting twice and Jordan Cook, Alan Sheehan and Danny Hylton also on target.
The Glovers game could also see new Hatters goalkeeper Marek Stech make his return to English football against the side he last played for in this country, when they were a Championship club, before his 2014 move to Sparta Prague in his native Czech Republic.
After the midweek Carabao Cup first round tie with Championship side IPSWICH TOWN, Jones and his men will make the first away trip of the season on Saturday 12th August – and it will be one of the shortest of the season with a 24-mile journey south to BARNET.
We complete the opening month with fixtures against two teams who could have made the play-offs right up to the final day of last term, and who are expected to be challengers for promotion this time around – COLCHESTER UNITED at home on Saturday 19th August, followed by a trip to MANSFIELD TOWN a week later.
If August is full of familiarity, September sees a stream of new acquaintances: a trip to LINCOLN CITY, promoted as champions of the Vanarama National League, on Saturday 2nd September followed by back-to-back home games with sides relegated from League One in May, SWINDON TOWN and PORT VALE, on Saturday 9th and Tuesday 12th respectively.
After another relatively local away day at WYCOMBE WANDERERS, we then host a third relegated side – CHESTERFIELD, who we also beat at home in the Checkatrade Trophy last season – on Saturday 23rd September before closing the month with a trip to MORECAMBE and home game with NEWPORT COUNTY.
Over the festive period we will welcome GRIMSBY TOWN on Saturday 23rd December before a Boxing Day visit to SWINDON.
We then travel to PORT VALE on Saturday 30th December, before opening 2018 at Kenilworth Road with the return against LINCOLN scheduled for New Year's Day.
And start the season with an opening day home match for the first time since our return to the EFL three years ago – indeed, the first since 2012-13 when we hosted Gateshead – we close it with our first final day away fixture since the Conference title-winning year at NOTTS COUNTY on Saturday 5th May.
*Please note, the fixture list below is a draft version and dates of matches are still subject to change.
Sat Aug 5 Yeovil Town H
Tue Aug 8 Ipswich Town (Carabao Cup One)
Sat Aug 12 Barnet A
Sat Aug 19 Colchester United H
Wed Aug 23 Carabao Cup Two
Sat Aug 26 Mansfield Town A
Sat Sep 2 Lincoln City A (International Date)
Sat Sep 9 Swindon Town H
Tue Sep 12 Port Vale H
Sat Sep 16 Wycombe Wanderers A
Wed Sep 20 Carabao Cup Three
Sat Sep 23 Chesterfield H
Tue Sep 26 Morecambe A
Sat Sep 30 Newport County H
Sat Oct 7 Accrington Stanley A (International Date)
Sat Oct 14 Stevenage H
Tue Oct 17 Exeter City A
Sat Oct 21 Crawley Town A
Wed Oct 25 Carabao Cup Four
Sat Oct 28 Coventry City H
Sat Nov 4 Emirates FA Cup 1
Sat Nov 11 Cheltenham Town A (International Date)
Sat Nov 18 Cambridge United H
Tue Nov 21 Carlisle United H
Sat Nov 25 Crewe Alexandra A
Sat Dec 2 Emirates FA Cup 2
Sat Dec 9 Notts County H
Sat Dec 16 Forest Green Rovers A
Wed Dec 20 Carabao Cup Five
Sat Dec 23 Grimsby Town H
Tue Dec 26 Swindon Town A
Sat Dec 30 Port Vale A
Mon Jan 1 Lincoln City H
Sat Jan 6 Wycombe Wanderers H (Emirates FA Cup 3)
Wed Jan 10 Carabao Cup Semi-Final (1)
Sat Jan 13 Chesterfield A
Sat Jan 20 Morecambe H
Wed Jan 24 Carabao Cup Semi-Final (2)
Sat Jan 27 Grimsby Town A (Emirates FA Cup 4)
Sat Feb 3 Exeter City H
Sat Feb 10 Stevenage A
Tue Feb 13 Crawley Town H
Sat Feb 17 Coventry City A (Emirates FA Cup 5)
Sat Feb 24 Cheltenham Town H
Sun Feb 25 Carabao Cup Final
Sat Mar 3 Cambridge United A
Sat Mar 10 Accrington Stanley H
Sat Mar 17 Newport County A (Emirates FA Cup 6)
Sat Mar 24 Barnet H (International Date)
Sat Mar 31 Colchester United A
Mon Apr 2 Mansfield Town H
Sat Apr 7 Yeovil Town A
Sat Apr 14 Crewe Alexandra H
Sat Apr 21 Carlisle United A (Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final)
Sat Apr 28 Forest Green Rovers H
Sat May 5 Notts. County A
Sat May 19 Emirates FA Cup Final