Hyundai A-League draw: opening round blockbusters

A blockbuster grand final rematch headlines the opening round of the new season following the release of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 draw on Wednesday.

Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season draw revealed

Melbourne Victory will get an early chance to exact some revenge on Sydney FC for their penalty shootout loss in last season’s decider, while a local rivalry is set to rekindle its former glory.

We take a look ahead to the opening round and examine some intriguing fixtures set to kick start a blockbuster season in the A-League.

CITY V ROAR RIVALRY RESUMES

What a way to kick off the new season as Melbourne City hosts Brisbane Roar on Friday night, October 6.

These two clubs forged quite a rivalry last season, with all three clashes dripping with quality – and a fair bit of spite.

Roar v City

City, under new boss Warren Joyce, will want to lay an early marker while a new-look Roar outfit will be out to prove they are a serious contender again.

There promises to be plenty of fireworks at AAMI Park to lift the curtain on the 2017/18 Season.

F3 DERBY TO ROCK GOSFORD

There’s nothing like a local derby to get the juices flowing and you get the feeling the F3 Derby could be about to return to its glory days this season.

What better way for Ernie Merrick to begin his Newcastle Jets revolution than with a win at the home of his club’s most fierce rivals.

Andrew Hoole hit a free-kick in this season's Round 7 F3 Derby.

But Paul Okon’s Mariners are on the up and they’ll want to get one over their former striker Roy 0’Donovan, who made the move up freeway in the off-season.

With two ex-Jets [Andrew Hoole and Ben Kennedy] also in the Mariners squad, this should be a ripper.

BIG BLUE GF REMATCH

Melbourne Victory won’t have to wait long to try and exact some grand final revenge on Sydney FC as we get a ‘Big Blue’ at Etihad Stadium in the marquee clash of the opening weekend.

The Sky Blues dominated the Big V last season winning all four meetings, including a dramatic penalty-shootout triumph in that epic decider.

Sydney FV v Melbourne Victory

What do these two bitter rivals have in store for us to kick-off the new campaign?

NEW COACHES SQUARE OFF IN WELLY

Sunday gets underway across the ditch with most eyes to be on the respective dugouts with both Wellington Phoenix and Adelaide United under new coaches.

The team of Darije Kalezic and Rado Vidosic are in charge of trying to lift Wellington’s aspirations, while the Reds' new boss Marco Kurz will be out to make a good impression following on from championship-winning Spaniard Gui Amor.

Dutchman Darije Kalezic has been unveiled as the new head coach of Wellington Phoenix. Pic Credit: Cameron McIntosh

Both these sides missed the finals last season so a winning start will be high on the agenda at Westpac Stadium.

FAMILIAR FACES TO COLLIDE IN SYDNEY’S WEST

A massive opening round ends in Sydney as Tony Popovic’s Wanderers – fresh from another pre-season rebuild – tackle Perth Glory.

The Wanderers have added some real quality to their squad – including ex-Glory defender Josh Risdon – while Mitch Nichols and Scott Neville swapped ‘Wanderland’ for the west.

With the likes of Spanish whiz Diego Castro, striker Andy Keogh and Wanderers’ new Dutchman Roly Bonevacia, there’ll be plenty of quality on the pitch.

And with Glory’s charismatic coach Kenny Lowe on the sidelines, this will be one not to miss.

Mitch Nichols fires a shot in Glory's Round 2 clash against the Roar.