Watford will return to competitive action sooner than usual due to the knock-on effects of this season being suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic – but it may still be some time until the Hornets know every side they will be facing in the Championship.

After their relegation from the Premier League was confirmed by yesterday’s 3-2 defeat at Arsenal, the Vicarage Road club have less than seven weeks to dust themselves down, regroup and prepare for their first match back in the second tier of the English game when the new season kicks off over the weekend of September 12.

The players and managers may have changed, but many of Watford’s opponents next season will be only too familiar from the 2014/15 campaign when Slavisa Jokanovic led the Hornets to the promised land after becoming the fourth head coach that season.

Fixtures against the two other promoted teams that year – Bournemouth and Norwich City – are again on the agenda next season after their Premier League stays also came to an end, while the likes of Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Reading have provided regular second tier opposition in the past decade.

One fixture next season that needs no introduction is a first derby meeting with Luton Town since the 2005/06 season when goals from Darius Henderson and Malky Mackay secured a 2-1 victory at Kenilworth Road, before the sides drew 1-1 at Vicarage Road when Marlon King was on target for Aidy Boothroyd’s men.

Another derby day that stands out will be a first Herts-Bucks clash between Watford and Wycombe Wanderers since 1997 after Gareth Ainsworth’s side secured a historic first promotion to the second tier with a 2-1 play-off victory over Oxford United earlier this month.

The outcome of the Championship play-offs will determine whether Watford will head to a new ground next season as Brentford prepare to move to make the short move to their new Brentford Community Stadium home.

The Bees are due to play their final game at Griffin Park on Wednesday when they will bid to overturn a 1-0 deficit from last night’s play-off semi-final first leg at Swansea City.

The second semi-final gets underway tonight when Cardiff City host Fulham, with the final at Wembley on Tuesday, August 4.

Wycombe’s play-off victory means the promotion and relegation issues between the Championship and League One should now be settled – but they are not.

The Hornets know they will also be facing Coventry City and Rotherham United after they went up automatically, with Charlton Athletic, Wigan Athletic and Hull City moving in the opposite direction.

However, Wigan are appealing the 12-point deduction imposed for entering administration and the issue is now in the hands of an independent disciplinary commission.

A statement on the Latics website says the appeal is due to be heard on Friday “and the outcome will be announced by the EFL at some time after that date”.