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Shrewsbury Town League One fixture list: Salop to start against Pompey

By Lewis Cox | Shrewsbury | Shrewsbury Town FC | Published:

Shrewsbury Town kick off their fifth successive season in League One with a difficult home fixture against division giants Portsmouth.

Sam Ricketts (AMA)

Pompey, who were beaten in the play-off semi-final by Sunderland last season, will have aspirations of making it back to the Championship under Sam Ricketts' former manager Kenny Jackett.

The fixture poses a tough test for Town to improve on their record of one opening-day win in the last eight attempts.

The August 3 curtain raiser also means a swift return to Montgomery Waters Meadow for James Bolton, who left Shropshire for Fratton Park earlier this summer.

Ricketts then takes his Town side to newly-promoted MK Dons on the second weekend of the season, before Salop welcome Rochdale, go to Accrington Stanley and host Burton.

Shrews round off the month with the much-anticipated trip to Ipswich Town's Portman Road on August 31. It is the first time the clubs have met in the league since 1989.

Town visit new boys Tranmere – managed by former boss Micky Mellon – and Lincoln on October 5 and 19 respectively.

Ricketts' side are at home on Boxing Day, where they host relegated Championship side Rotherham, who beat them in the play-off final two seasons ago.

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There is a trip to fellow relegated second tier side Bolton on December 29 before Salop head to promoted League Two outfit Bury on New Year's Day. Mellon's return to Shrewsbury is on January 4.

Town fans will make the long trip down to Kent to see their side face Gillingham on a Tuesday, January 28.

A visit to The Stadium of Light, home of beaten play-off finalists Sunderland, comes late in the season, on April 4. Shrews round off the 19/20 campaign with a trip to Southend's Roots Hall on May 3, which follows the final home game against AFC Wimbledon.

Bookmakers have Town at 50-1 to win the league.

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Boss Ricketts believes League One is looking extremely competitive this season, with the likes of big clubs Bolton and Ipswich added to Sunderland and Portsmouth – all of which promise to be fixtures to savour for Town.

"There are some big clubs in the league. Looking at size of clubs there are Sunderland, Ipswich, Bolton, Portsmouth, some real big clubs with big support," said the Shrewsbury boss.

"It'll be tough like every season. Clubs are spending big this summer, Coventry and an awful lot of sides trying to be successful."

While Ricketts admits the next game is always the most important – he revealed the season is best broke down into blocks of 10 matches.

He added: "You break the season into 10 game blocks. The most important one is the game you're about to play.

"You try to evaluate, because it's such a long season, every 10 games. You look at what is and isn't working and progress from there."

Shrewsbury Town fixtures 2019/20:

August:

3 - Portsmouth (h)

10 - MK Dons (a)

17 - Rochdale (h)

20 - Accrington Stanley (a)

24 - Burton (h)

31 - Ipswich (a)

September:

7 - Peteborough (h)

14 - AFC Wimbledon (a)

17 - Southend (h)

21 - Rotherham (a)

28 - Fleetwood (h)

October:

5 - Tranmere (a)

12 - Bury (h)

19 - Lincoln City (a)

22 - Gillingham (h)

26 - Sunderland (h)

November:

2 - Wycombe (a)

16 - Doncaster (a)

23 - Bristol Rovers (h)

December:

7 - Oxford (a)

14 - Coventry (h)

21 - Blackpool (a)

26 - Rotherham (h)

29 - Bolton (a)

January:

1 - Bury (a)

4 - Tranmere (h)

11 - Lincoln (h)

18 - Fleetwood (a)

25 - Bolton (h)

28 - Gillingham (a)

February:

1 - Rochdale (a)

8 - MK Dons (h)

11 - Accrington (h)

15 - Portsmouth (a)

22 - Doncaster (h)

29 - Bristol Rovers (a)

March:

7 - Oxford (h)

14 - Coventry (a)

21 - Blackpool (h)

28 - Wycombe (h)

April:

4 - Sunderland (a)

10 - Burton (a)

13 - Ipswich (h)

18 - Peterborough (a)

25 - AFC Wimbledon (h)

May:

3 - Southend (a)

Lewis Cox

By Lewis Cox
Multi-Media Sports Journalist - @lewiscox_star

Sports reporter with the Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Covering Shrewsbury Town and with a keen eye for non-league and grassroots.

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