The Melbourne Derby is always one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures on the Hyundai A-League calendar and the 2017/18 edition will be no different.
With some fresh faces and high expectations in both squads, the battle to be top-dog in Melbourne will be as fierce as ever between Victory and City.
And following the release of the draw for the new season on Wednesday, fans of both clubs only have to wait until Round 2 to resume hostilities.
MELBOURNE DERBY FIXTURES 2017/18 SEASON
Round 2 – Etihad Stadium, Saturday October 14, 2017
Round 12 – AAMI Park, Saturday December 23, 2017
Round 22 – AAMI Park, Friday March 2, 2018
EPIC BATTLES LAST SEASON
The battle for supremacy in Melbourne has intensified every year and we were treated to three memorable encounters during the 2016/17 Season.
In Tim Cahill’s first-ever Hyundai A-League clash, City trounced Victory 4-1 at Etihad Stadium in Round 2, with the Caltex Socceroos star’s incredible long-range volley stealing the show.
City followed up that impressive win by beating Victory in the Westfield FFA Cup semis to suggest the balance of power in Melbourne may have been shifting.
But Kevin Muscat’s men responded in the last two derbies of the season, coming from behind in both Round 11 and Round 18 to win those matches 2-1.
Who will claim bragging rights in the 2017/18 Season?
CAN CITY BECOME KINGS OF MELBOURNE?
Having lifted the club’s first piece of silverware in the Westfield FFA Cup last season, City’s focus will very much be on Hyundai A-League success in 2017/18.
But it’s a fresh start for the Cityzens, with Englishman Warren Joyce brought in as the new coach to take the club forward.
While stars Cahill and Bruno Fornaroli will again be the focal point of City’s attack, Joyce has the opportunity to assemble the squad he wants with plenty of spots open on the roster.
Experienced keeper Eugene Galekovic is the only addition to the squad so far. Joyce is renowned for his ability to develop young players and with the likes of Daniel Arzani, Ruon Tongyik, Dylan Pierias and Denis Genreau getting a taste of the A-League last season, we might see plenty more of these talented youngsters.
Victory were a whisker away from winning the grand final last season and will again be one of the favourites for the title.
While they have lost some quality players in Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Alan Baro, Daniel Georgievski and Nick Ansell – and possibly Caltex Socceroo James Troisi – Muscat has recruited well.
Rhys Williams and Thomas Deng have been brought in to bolster their defence while 2015 grand final hero Kosta Barbarouses returns to the club.
It all makes for what should be another gripping season of clashes between these Melbourne rivals.