The fixtures are out - and the new League Two season closely approaches.

Carlisle United's schedule was revealed yesterday and supporters will have already cast their eye over the games with forensic detail.

But which clashes could prove key for Paul Simpson's side this season?

We've picked out seven games that could, for various reasons, help define Carlisle's campaign:

Crawley Town (H) - July 30

You have to go back to the 2019/20 season for the last time Carlisle won on the opening day - coincidentally, that triumph came against Crawley.

But this time around, the Blues will welcome a side buoyed by new ownership and with a new management team in place.

FIXTURE LIST: Carlisle United's 2022/23 schedule in full

They will be eager to kick-off the campaign in style, but so too will Simpson's new-look side - particularly in front of a home crowd.

An opening day victory can set the tone for what is to come, and the performance on July 30 could offer a glimpse as to the kind of season that lies ahead.

AFC Wimbledon (H) - September 17

Simpson says he has identified two periods of the season as key - the first ten games, and the final ten games.

The visit of recently-relegated Wimbledon comes at the end of that opening period and, as the old cliche goes, is when the league table starts to take some form of meaningful shape.

So finishing that early spell of fixtures in a positive manner will be key for Carlisle.

Crewe Alexandra (H) - October 1

October is a busy period for the Blues and there are some difficult fixtures in store, too.

With six league games to play during the month - plus a Papa John's Trophy tie - this could be a pivotal few weeks for Carlisle and will potentially test the depth of Simpson's squad.

READ MORE: Paul Simpson offers his take on Carlisle United's 2022/23 fixtures

There are some tricky teams to play as well, including sides being tipped for promotion such as Stockport County and Doncaster Rovers.

So picking up points early in the month will be crucial.

Bradford City (H) - December 26

This will be one of, if not the, biggest home attendances of the season and will pit Carlisle against a side that looks set to challenge at the top end of the table come May.

If the Blues are to aim higher this season, this will likely be a major test of their credentials.

Doncaster Rovers (A) - January 1

Another key test will come on New Years' Day at Doncaster.

The visit to South Yorkshire will come after a busy December and there is sure to be a vocal away backing behind Carlisle.

Doncaster have made some astute additions already and could be another side in promotion contention, but a win for the Blues at the start of 2023 could provide a major boost to their own hopes.

Stevenage (H) - March 18

Steve Evans' side will come to Brunton Park to begin the run-in, with the visit of Stevenage signalling the start of the final ten games.

READ MORE: Paul Simpson reveals what Sonny Hilton will bring to Carlisle United

It is at this point that Simpson is keen for his side to peak in their performance levels, to ensure that they have the best chance of achieving whatever they are competing for.

A victory in this clash would be a good start toward that goal.

Tranmere Rovers (H) - April 7

Easter could have been kinder to Carlisle, it's fair to say.

Tranmere are a team always capable of a result and who will harbor hopes of competing at the top end, while Walsall - whom the Cumbrians visit on Easter Monday - have been heavily backed in the transfer window.

So it will be important to build as much momentum as possible during this period, starting with the Good Friday clash.