A-League Grudge Matches | Melbourne Derby

With eight weeks to go, we're looking at some of this season's mouth-watering rivalries.

The Hyundai A-League is set to ignite in season eight and there will be plenty of the usual action to keep us on the edge of our seats: local derbies, distance derbies, controversial decisions, but we reckon there might be a few personal and deeply passionate rivalries that are set to catch fire...

Melbourne Heart v Melbourne Victory In what has quickly become the most passionate rivalry in the Hyundai A-League, the Melbourne Derby has never failed to deliver and this year it should be no different, so much so that FFA decided it was the best possible way to kick-off the season.

And why not? Matches between the two thus far have contained plenty of passion and ill temperament to produce 31 yellows, 16 goals and one red card (Kevin Muscat's infamous tackle on Adrian Zahra).

The matches usually produce plenty of drama too and, perhaps surprisingly, Heart have held the upper hand from the get-go, winning two derbies to the Victory-s one, with three draws.

What will be interesting this year is the role the two new coaches play; it will be Ange Postecoglou's first derby in his home town, and John Aloisi's first as head coach, after playing such a huge role in the derbies in the Heart-s first season, scoring a brace and also a match-winner in the first-ever encounter.

Both coaches have attacking philosophies, Aloisi having been one of the finest strikers this country has produced, while Postecoglou has proven he loves to have his teams attack.

The other key ingredient in taking this rivalry to a new level, is that Victory, the biggest club in Australian football, were humbled last season, losing once and drawing twice, and being outclassed by the red-and-white half of Melbourne across the season.

John van' t Schip-s men made the finals and hung with the very best the league has to offer for much of the season, the Victory despite all their stars were a sideshow and that shouldn-t sit well with the club, their players or fans.

It all changes this season, with pressure on Aloisi to maintain Heart's steady progression and all eyes on Victory to see if Postecoglou can replicate his all-conquering Brisbane Roar philosophy.

Just over a month to go and this fixture already has the mouth-watering. Talk about starting the season with a bang.