New Dundee United signings Nicky Clark and Fraser Aird’s league debuts are set to come against their former side as the Tangerines host Dunfermline on the first day of the new season.
Csaba Laszlo’s new-look team will have to gel quickly if they are to get their promotion push off and running early with a testing opening to the 2018/19 campaign, which starts on August 4.
The Tangerines’ first away trip is a long one to Dumfries on Queen of the South’s plastic pitch before they welcome title challengers Partick to Tannadice on August 25.
Former manager Ray McKinnon’s first clash with United comes on September 15 as his new side Morton head to his former stomping ground while the last game of the season for both will be at Cappielow.
That concludes a difficult end to the campaign with trips to the Highlands to face both Ross County and Inverness CT in the last month of the Championship season.
United were the favourites last season to top the table but fell well short of champions St Mirren.
This time around, it promises to be even more difficult with two teams coming down from the Premiership.
Starting with those two, let’s have a look at the Tangerines’ main challengers this coming season.
The Jags became only the second top-tier side to lose out in the play-offs and are among the favourites to go straight back up.
Alan Archibald has stayed on at Firhill and is rebuilding his side for the Championship.
How strong they are remains to be seen but the experienced duo of Chris Erskine and Kris Doolan will be big factors in any success they have.
Also coming down, the Staggies aren’t hanging about putting together a team that can win the division.
Co-managers Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson are determined to make their first chance in management a success.
County will be a tough nut to crack for most teams in the Championship.
Caley Thistle were expected to be Dundee United’s main challengers last season but got off to an awful start.
Boss John Robertson turned things around and a late surge almost saw them into the play-offs.
Expect that good form to continue in the new campaign.
Allan Johnston’s 2017/18 team has been ripped apart with players leaving left, right and centre.
With a lot of work to be done in the transfer market at the moment, another finish in the play-offs looks unlikely but Johnston has a history of getting his sides into the top four.
Former Dundee manager Paul Hartley is slowly making the Bairns side his own after big changes in the winter and more to come this summer.
Way off the pace last season, another mediocre campaign won’t be acceptable for the Falkirk faithful.
Former United boss Ray McKinnon is just in the door at Cappielow and is busy bringing in players.
His aim is the play-offs – Jim Duffy was sacked for not making them – so pressure is on.
Queen of the South
The Doonhamers haven’t done much business this summer, the arrival of Gary Harkins apart, and will have to tighten up their defence if they are to cause any trouble at the top end of the division in the new campaign.