A blockbuster Melbourne derby will be the headline match in the opening round of A-League Season 2018/19, which kicks off later than ever before.
The fixture draw was officially released on Thursday, with the season kicking off on Friday 19 October with Adelaide United hosting Sydney FC at Coopers Stadium.
The remaining fixtures of the opening round will see coaches pitted against their former clubs. Brisbane Roar take on Central Coast Mariners, Perth Glory are up against Western Sydney Wanderers and Wellington Phoenix face Newcastle Jets.
The 2019 Finals Series will begin on the weekend of 3-5 May 2019 with the A-League Grand Final scheduled for the weekend of 18-19 May 2019.
FFA’s Head of Hyundai A-League & Westfield W-League, Greg O’Rourke, said the 14th edition of the league was an exciting draw.
“As we announced in April, the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season will kick-off later than ever before allowing more overlap with the grassroots season and will break twice for FIFA international windows,” O’Rourke said.
“The Westfield W-League 2018/19 Season will also kick-off the following week which will provide additional marketing opportunities for both the Leagues and the clubs.
“Although there will be no break during the AFC Asian Cup 2019, the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season Draw has been constructed in such a way that will allow a natural flow from one competition to the other from a broadcast perspective to create a Summer Football schedule that will see 31 Hyundai A-League matches played in 27 days throughout.
“Once again we have incorporated a split round (round 21) to assist clubs who are competing in the AFC Champions League. There is also flexibility built into the draw once the AFC Champions League 2019 schedule is released should we require.
There are three official themed rounds this season; Remembrance Round (4), rebel Female Football Round (5) and rebel Play Football Round (18).
O’Rourke added: “This edition of the Remembrance Round will be of special significance as it will coincide with the Centenary of the Armistice. Also for the first time the Hyundai A-League will hold an ANZAC day fixture between Brisbane Roar FC and Adelaide United at Suncorp Stadium which will kick-off at 2pm.
“Following an off-season review, and with the success at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, we will continue with the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system however in a new centralised facility."
FOX SPORTS, A-League Clubs, venues and other stakeholders worked collaboratively on the season draw.