The A-League season is not too far away and plenty of excitement looms over the new season.
There is plenty of intrigue surrounding the newly formed Western United, who will kick off their campaign away to the Wellington Phoenix.
Sydney FC wasted no time in getting to work, poaching Kosta Barbarouses and Alexander Baumjohann off their biggest rivals.
Melbourne Victory welcomed two familiar faces while Melbourne City injected a bit of style into their coaching ranks.
It has been an interesting off-season so far, but it is nothing compared to what the season is expected to deliver.
Here are the games you won’t want to miss.
Wellington Phoenix vs Western United (Round 1)
There may be no bigger narrative heading into the season than Mark Rudan returning to the Wellington Phoenix. After making its first finals appearance since 2014/15, a big question mark hangs over the Phoenix following the departure of key personnel.
Western United will travel to Wellington with coach Mark Rudan and former Phoenix captain Andrew Durante and goalkeeper Filip Kurto, adding an interesting subplot to the club’s inaugural professional outing.
Both clubs will be looking to make a statement right from the onset.
For Western United their intent will be to show the league they mean business. While the Phoenix will want to prove last season was no flash-in-the-pan.
Perth Glory vs Brisbane Roar (Round 1)
Before God reaches Brisbane, he must first stop-over in Perth.
Robbie Fowler will face a massive test in his first game in charge, playing last year’s Premier’s in the competition’s toughest away trip.
The Glory will kick off their Premiership defence against Fowler’s Roar, in what will be the Liverpool legend’s first return to the Glory since his nine-goal season with the club in 2010/11.
There is plenty of intrigue has to how the Roar will line-up under Fowler, in addition to how the Glory respond after last season’s Grand Final heartbreak.
Central Coast Mariners vs Newcastle Jets (Round 2)
A bit of tension returns to the F3 Derby, with Matt Millar returning to face the club which resurrected his professional career.
Millar made headlines in January after controversially signing a deal with the Newcastle Jets for season 2019/20, having been one of the shining lights in another poor season for the Mariners.
Central Coast will be out to get one over their rivals in their first home match of the season, while the Jets will have a return to the finals on their minds for the season ahead.
Western Sydney Wanderers vs Sydney FC (Round 3)
The Sydney derby returns to Parramatta – in a brand-new stadium as well.
This fixture would have caught the attention of both sets of fans, who will not need to wait long before packing out Bankwest Stadium for this mouthwatering tie.
You can expect the Wanderers fans to be out in full force in their new home, with the atmosphere expected to be unlike anything seen the A-League.
Fans will be buoyed by the several rows allocated for standing behind the goals, in addition to returning closer to the pitch.
Adding to the fire, Alexander Baumjohann will return to face his former side for the first time – having once been a pivotal part of the Wanderers line-up.
A massive season looms for the Wanderers, with the expectation being a finals appearance.
Since Western Sydney’s move, this has been a fixture the Sky Blues have dominated and head into the first derby of the season as the reigning champions.
Western United vs Melbourne City (Round 3)
Western United will only have to wait three weeks before they square off in their first derby.
They will host Melbourne City at GMHBA Stadium, with plenty on the line – including early bragging rights – as many will be excited to see the emergence of a new rivalry.
Fans will be excited to see the likes of Panagiotis Kone and Alessandro Diamanti in action, as well as some of Australia’s best young talent.
Melbourne Victory vs Western United (Round 4)
In what is a dream fortnight for Victorian football fans, Western United will meet Melbourne Victory at Marvel Stadium just one week after hosting Melbourne City.
This will be Western United’s first match in Melbourne, where they face the Victory at Marvel Stadium.
This ensures all three Victorian clubs would have met each other within the first four weeks of the season.
Sydney FC vs Melbourne Victory (Round 6)
The Big Blue is one of the competition’s fiercest rivalries.
Last season 19,000 people packed into Jubilee Oval to see an entertaining Round 5 affair – which the Victory won 2-1 – before the two sides returned six months later in a famous semi-final.
Revenge will be on the minds of the Melbourne Victory after their last visit to Jubilee Oval ended in a 6-1 thumping against their rivals and eventual Champions.
Both these sides have been incredibly busy in the off-season.
Sydney FC brought in Victory fan-favourite Kosta Barbaouses, while the Victory welcomed back fan-favourites Andrew Nabbout and Robbie Kruse.
While it won’t be the first time Barbarouses will line-up against the Victory, it will be the first time in Sky Blue colours.
Perth Glory vs Sydney FC (Round 7)
Sydney FC is well-aware of the massive target on its back after winning the Championship and recruiting several players from their rivals.
Their biggest test in their Championship defence comes in Round 7 when they return to the scene of the crime to face the Glory in a Grand Final rematch.
Unlike the Grand Final this one will be played at HBF Park, a ground the Glory turned into a fortress last season, albeit one which the Sky Blues do have fond memories of – being one of the only teams to steal points against the Glory in Perth.
Melbourne City vs Melbourne Victory (Round 11)
The Christmas derby is one of the most anticipated fixtures among the two sets of supporters. It is always a big occasion whenever the two sides meet at AAMI Park, with the intense atmosphere being the biggest drawcard.
Fans much prefer this derby as a result of it being at AAMI Park, a venue where they are closer to the action.
This derby has produced some magical and exciting moments in its short history, with plenty more expected in this new season.
Adelaide United vs Melbourne Victory (Round 15)
2020 is going to kick off with a bang as Adelaide United host Melbourne Victory at Coopers Stadium in January.
The trip to Adelaide is a favourite among the Victory supporters, mainly due to the atmosphere at Coopers Stadium which is always near capacity when the Reds and Victory do battle.
There is no love lost between these two clubs who have squared off in several Grand Finals and famous matches.
Adding to the mix is Marco Kurz returning to face his former club after two seasons at Adelaide United where he lifted the FFA Cup and became a fan favourite.