Five blockbuster fixtures to kick-off the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season
The Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season Draw has arrived and the action cranks up to full throttle as early as Round 1.
It’s not until you see your team’s schedule in black and white that you can begin to visualise their journey from the grind of pre-season through to the ticker tape waterfall as your club captain lifts the Hyundai A-League Championship high above his head next May.
RIVALRIES: Every key derby date for Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season
ANNOUNCEMENT: Hyundai A-League Season Draw released
YOUR CLUB: See the full list of your club's Hyundai A-League 2019/20 fixtures
MATCH CENTRE: Visit the match centre for every 2019/20 fixture
But, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. The route to glory is a long and winding one which involves navigating through a blockbuster list of adrenaline-fuelled, football showstoppers.
And, before we even get moving, the high-octane games begin straight away with five legitimate bangers to get the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season started in style.
Perhaps the real winners here are Ernie Merrick’s Newcastle Jets, who kick off with a bye week, allowing them to sit back and enjoy every one of these mouth-watering season openers.
Scores will be settled between Adelaide and Sydney FC
Adelaide United v Sydney FC
Friday 11 October 2019
Kick-off: 7pm ACDT, 7.30pm AEDT
The curtain is raised and the touch paper is lit with a clash of the champions between the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Champions and the holders of the FFA Cup.
Not only is this a chance for both sides to put down a marker for another silverware-laden season but it's an encounter which can lay claim to one of Hyundai A-League's newest emerging feuds.
After this pair of big-hitters were locked in a 1-1 draw to open last season, the Reds edged the Sky Blues in a dramatic 2-1 FFA Cup 2018 Final win, avenging the reverse score from the 2017 decider.
With new signings Kosta Barbarouses and Alex Baumjohann in the blue corner and Riley McGree and Kristian Opseth in the red, this match, pitting Sydney FC head coach Steve Corica against newly-appointed United chief Gertjan Verbeek, should be a tone-setting tussle for the season ahead.
Bankwest Stadium opens the doors for its first Hyundai A-League match
Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Central Coast Mariners
Saturday 12 October 2019
Kick-off: 5.15pm AEDT
It's been three years in the making, but Western Sydney Wanderers FC are bringing Hyundai A-League football back to Parramatta.
There's no doubting that the all-new Wanderland will be pumping and, amid the excitement and adrenaline, there will be a touch of nostalgia in the air for Wanderers fans.
Their first-ever Hyundai A-League match after the club entered the league, at the old Wanderland, Pirtek Stadium, was against the Central Coast Mariners.
The Red and Black history books opened with a goalless stalemate and, of course, they finished their maiden season with a Hyundai A-League Premiership. Alen Stajcic's Mariners will be seeking to gatecrash this throwback party.
Fireworks are guaranteed in a season-opening Melbourne Derby
Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City FC
Saturday 12 October 2019
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT
There's nothing quite like a Melbourne Derby! And there certainly will be a fresh feel to this season's encounters over bragging rights in Victoria's capital.
For the first time in 14 years, there will be no sign of Kevin Muscat in Melbourne Victory kit, as two new commanding chiefs seek to begin their reigns on a high.
Marco Kurz is able to field a new-look Victory attack featuring Caltex Socceroos stars Andrew Nabbout and Robbie Kruse, while City boss Erick Mombaerts has promised a brand-new positive outlook to bring the best of out of last season's goal-shy side.
Victory were not able to register a Derby win in last season's trio of clashes. The Navy Blue faithful will be desperate to shift the balance of power back away from City's grasp on opening weekend.
Mark Rudan returns to Wellington in Western United's historic, first-ever match
Wellington Phoenix v Western United
Sunday 13 October 2019
Kick-off: 6pm NZDT, 4pm AEDT
Open the history books. Western United will write the first chapter of their story with a trip across the ditch to the land of the long white cloud.
As if there isn't enough interest in a brand new club's opening game, but Western United's inaugural head coach Mark Rudan and captain Andrew Durante return to the club they thrilled the Hyundai A-League with in 2018/19, Wellington Phoenix.
The new-look Nix, led by Ufuk Talay, will be seeking to find their own new identity in front of their Kiwi fans after a big turnover of players in the off-season.
In Ulises Davila and David Ball, Phoenix have a pair of attackers who can dazzle. United will be bringing their own star quality in Panagiotis Kone and Alessandro Diamanti. Whatever happens in Wellington, it will be recalled for years to come.
The Robbie Fowler era begins in the lair of the Hyundai A-League Premiers
Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar FC
Sunday 13 October 2019
Kick-off: 3pm AWST, 6pm AEDT
He is seventh in the English Premier League's all-time top scorers list and, now, Robbie Fowler is a Hyundai A-League head coach.
The former Liverpool and England striker will lock horns with one of Australia's finest tacticians, Tony Popovic, in his first Hyundai A-League game in the Roar dugout.
A natural-born goalscorer of the modern day, Bruno Fornaroli, is set to make his Hyundai A-League bow for the Premiers, who will quickly be looking to banish memories of their 2019 Grand Final penalty shootout heartache against Sydney FC.
Will Perth be able to match the dominant, high standards they set in 2018/19? Or will a Fowler-inspired Roar take their first steps towards regaining their place among the Hyundai A-League's elite?