Five memorable opening day matches

Gera celebration Liverpool

The 2022/23 Sky Bet Championship fixtures will be released at 9am on Thursday morning.

Before the Baggies find out when they'll play each opponent, we're taking you back through the years to relive some of our most memorable opening day fixtures. Enjoy!

Nottingham Forest 1-2 Albion

Sky Bet Championship, August 2019

Albion's 2019/20 promotion-winning campaign kicked off with an impressive 2-1 victory at the City Ground against Nottingham Forest. The hosts took the lead in Slaven Bilić's first game as Baggies boss, with Matty Cash firing in from the edge of the box. However, Albion hit back and equalised through Kyle Edwards before edging ahead courtesy of a freak goal. Matty Phillips' cross from deep on the right flew over the head of Forest stopper Arijanet Muric and into the back of the Trent End net to give the Baggies the perfect start to the season.

Crystal Palace 0-1 Albion

Premier League, August 2016

Albion opened the 2016/17 term with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the summer sun. The encounter looked to be heading for a goalless draw with just over 15 minutes of the match remaining, but the Baggies bagged a winner when Salomon Rondon glanced James McClean's teasing free-kick into the bottom corner to send the travelling Albion fans wild in the away end. 

Albion 3-0 Liverpool

Premier League, August 2012

Albion produced a scintillating showing to brush Liverpool aside at The Hawthorns in both Steve Clarke and Brendan Rodgers' first matches in charge of their new clubs. The Baggies went ahead in spectacular fashion when Zoltan Gera crashed a long-range effort into the top corner just before the break. Shane Long then had a glorious chance to make it 2-0, but his weak penalty was comfortably saved by Pepe Reina. Liverpool, who had been reduced to ten men when Daniel Agger fouled Long in the build up to the first penalty, then conceded a second spot-kick. Martin Skrtel tripped Long inside the area and Peter Odemwingie stepped up and slammed home to extend Albion's advantage. And the points were wrapped up late on as Romelu Lukaku nodded in a third, marking his debut in style.

Albion 2-1 Tranmere Rovers

Division One, August 1997

The Baggies recorded a narrow 2-1 victory over Tranmere Rovers on the opening day of the 1997/1998 Division One campaign. Former Republic of Ireland international midfielder Kevin Kilbane fired in a beauty in front of the Smethwick End from the edge of the box on his league debut to give the hosts the lead in the 37th minute. And less than 60 seconds later, it was 2-0. Paul Peschisolido slipped a perfect pass into the space for Andy Hunt to run on to and slot into the net. David Kelly pulled one back for the visitors deep into the second 45, but Albion held on to claim three points on the first day of the season.

Albion 6-3 Exeter City

Division Three, August 1991

Albion's 1991/92 Division Three campaign started with a nine-goal thriller at The Hawthorns against Exeter City. Craig Shakespeare put Albion in front from the spot, only for the Grecians to hit back through Mark Cooper. Shakespeare's second successful spot-kick of the first-half gave the Baggies their lead back, a lead which they extended early in the second period when Don Goodman raced through and calmly slotted home. Goodman then added his and the Baggies' fourth shortly after, before Adrian Foster added a fifth from inside the six-yard box. Albion went 6-1 ahead when Paul Williams' header crept in via the post. Exeter pulled two late consolation goals back, but they failed to take the shine off an impressive Baggies display.