We pick out five of the games you must circle in the calendar for the early rounds of Season 11 of the Hyundai A-League.
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory (Adelaide Oval – Round 1 – October 9)
What a clash to help bring in the new season as the champions head to Adelaide to take on fierce rivals the Reds.
Everyone will be after Victory’s scalp in the early part of the campaign and Josep Gombau’s men have the first opportunity to do just that in front of what should be a bumper crowd at the Adelaide Oval.
The two sides were involved in some pulsating encounters last season and there’s sure to be more than a few talking points to come out of this one.
Neither side will want to let their opponents get a jump on them to start the season. Bring it on!
Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City FC (Etihad Stadium - Round 2 – October 17)
The first derby of the season and what a clash it promises to be.
City have already recruited well and are sure to be even stronger come the start of Season 11 as they look to win local bragging rights.
John van ‘t Schip’s side saw their season brought to a close by Victory in the finals and would love a bit of revenge in what will be Victory’s first home game of the campaign.
Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers FC (Allianz Stadium – Round 3 – October 24)
Just seven days after the Melbourne version it’s Sydney’s turn to offer up some dazzling derby action.
The Sky Blues dominated this fixture last season – winning two and drawing the other – and will want to keep that streak going in front of their home fans.
There were 14 goals scored in the three clashes last campaign and expect another free-flowing contest in this one.
While it promises to be a very different looking Wanderers outfit after a big cleanout after last season, there won’t be any less feeling between these two bitter rivals.
Expect a near sellout – and potentially record-breaking – crowd in what will be another epic installment of the Harbour City derby.
Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners (Hunter Stadium – Round 6 – November 14)
After tumultuous 2014-15 seasons, both the Jets and Mariners will be after fresh starts and brighter days for the upcoming campaign.
But no matter how either side is travelling, winning the F3 Derby is always of the utmost importance. Both sides will be looking to make a statement early in the season and give their suffering fans some joy.
How they are both travelling over the opening month – coupled with the outcome of this one – will give a good indication if better days are ahead for these two clubs.
Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory (Allianz Stadium - Round 6 – November 14)
Graham Arnold and his squad will have to wait more than a month to try and exact some form of revenge for their demoralising grand final defeat in May.
While there will be a few changes in both squads, the majority of the same players will be the same meaning there is likely to be more than a little extra feeling at Allianz Stadium.
Barring a major drop in form, these two sides should again be near the top of the table come the business end of the season.
What a chance to get an early psychological advantage in what should be a thrilling contest.