Preview: Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC

It's Kewell vs Emerton in one of the most anticipated matches in the history of Australian domestic football. Be part of a massive crowd as two legends come home...

Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC Saturday 8th October, 6.30pm

It's Kewell vs Emerton in one of the most anticipated matches in the history of Australian domestic football. Be part of a massive crowd as two legends come home...

If the North and South Terrace Boys weren't already excited about the start of the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 campaign, then the fixture-list served them up an opening fixture that set anticipation levels to boiling point.

Can there be a better way to kick-off what is sure to be one of the most enthralling seasons to date than with a clash against your perennial adversaries?

The season is set to explode into life at the Etihad Stadium this Saturday evening with the return of two Australian legends. This is a fixture you simply cannot miss, so grab a ticket before they sell out!

These two giants have made their intentions for the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season very clear, with signings that are sure to set the league alight. When Harry Kewell arrived in Melbourne early one Spring morning to sign on the dotted line, he was greeted at the airport with Beatlemania-esque excitement from an army of Victory fans.

Meanwhile, Sydney boast their own Aussie legend. Brett Emerton's arrival in the Harbour City is especially impressive considering he arrives fresh from the English Premier League. The inclusion of these two superstars has understandably got the football world talking. When before has pre-season been so full of argument and debate about whether two individuals should be play for club or country on the opening weekend?

There is no doubt that all eyes will be on this game on Saturday. Not only to witness the influence that Messrs Kewell and Emerton have on proceedings, but Hyundai A-League fans will also be interested to see how far these two titans have progressed following difficult campaigns last time round.

Melbourne Victory struggled to find any level of consistency, with a four-match winning streak at the campaign's home-straight being the only time that they managed back-to-back victories. Despite this ropey form, they made the finals, yet bowed out rather tamely at Skilled Park.

Now though, not only do they have the mouthwatering prospect of Harry Kewell linking up with Carlos Hernandez, but they have a new man at the helm. Mehmet Durakovic takes over from Ernie Merrick, and the former defender will be looking to combine thrilling attacking football with defensive solidity to forge a unit that will strike fear into heart of every other side in the Hyundai A-League.

Sydney FC didn't get going at all until it was too late last season. It took them 11 games to record their first win, and even after clawing themselves away from the foot of the ladder, their flirtations with the play-off places were never really believable.

This time round, though, they'll be aiming much higher. Not only has Brett Emerton arrived, but Nicky Carle is fit and raring to go and the return of Karol Kisel is absolutely crucial. Kisel played a pivotal role in Sydney's double-winning 2009/10 season, and the midfielder is sure to have a big impact this time round.

With last season's frustrations for both teams long-forgotten, and with legendary new arrivals set to make their league debuts, this is sure to be one of the most talked-about games in recent years. It's a huge clash between two massive rivals, and Etihad looks set to be rammed, so don't delay in scoring yourself a ticket and being part of a phenomenal atmosphere and occasion.

Last season, these two got the ball rolling with an unbelievable 3-3 thriller. It would be foolish to bet against them serving up something even more exciting this time round. Who will land the first blow? Can Sydney grab an away win, or will Harry's home debut end in triumph? Be there and find out!