5 reasons to watch Hyundai A-League Round 1
We're back! The long-awaited Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Season gets underway this weekend with exciting new talents from Australia and around the world and fascinating storylines for Round 1.
Here are five reasons to watch the first weekend of action.
1: THE GRAND FINAL REMATCH
Nothing beats a Big Blue, especially when the two sides last met in a Grand Final just five months ago.
Melbourne Victory welcome Sydney FC to Etihad Stadium on Saturday night, desperate to show they are true challengers for the Sky Blues' crown.
But Graham Arnold has warned that his side are even better than the history-making double winners of 2016/17.
An unmissable clash of the titans awaits.
2: EXTRA SPICY F3 DERBY
Both Central Coast and Newcastle have undergone major off-season overhauls as the former Championship winners seek a return to their glory days in Gosford.
Most intriguing is Irish striker Roy O'Donovan's move up the F3 and his immediate return to face the team he led the line for over two seasons.
The Mariners’ recruitment has been particularly impressive with high interest in what impact their new Dutch contingent will have.
Who'll take early season bragging rights between these two fierce Hyundai A-League rivals?
3: NEW COACHES COLLIDE
Wellington Phoenix and Adelaide United have both gone European to recruit their new mentors.
Dutchman Darije Kalezic and German Marco Kurz have taken the reins at the two clubs and immediately set about moulding their respective sides into top six challengers.
The Reds have been very impressive in pre-season, reaching the Westfield FFA Cup semi-finals, while the Nix are something of an unknown quantity.
Curiosity abounds as both look to make an early statement in 2017/18.
4: CAN WANDERERS COPE IN THE POST-POPA ERA?
Just one week out from the start of the new season, Tony Popovic jumped ship.
The Wanderers’ inaugural mentor has taken up a coaching role in Turkey, catching everyone by surprise and throwing what looked to be a genuine Championship contender into doubt.
Hayden Foxe has taken temporary charge and faces a tough first-up assignment with the visit of Perth Glory.
Kenny Lowe's side will sniff the chance to start their campaign with a rare road win on the opening weekend.
5: CONTENDERS OR PRETENDERS?
Intrigue surrounds the championship credentials of the two sides who open the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season.
Brisbane Roar's proud history in the competition will be severely tested with the departures of Jamie Maclaren and Thomas Broich.
Meanwhile, the fans of their round one opponents Melbourne City are desperate for their side's performances to match their ambition and claim some Hyundai A-League silverware.
Which of these two high-profile clubs will hit the ground running on Friday night as the season kicks off at AAMI Park.