Victory, Sydney to meet in A-League opening round
A rematch of the A-League Grand Final between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC headlines the opening round of the 2017-18 draw released on Wednesday.
The rivals will meet at Etihad Stadium on October 7, five months after the Sky Blues won the 2017 decider in a penalty shoot-out in Sydney.
The season kicks off with a clash between Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park a day earlier.
"It gives me great pleasure to release the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season draw under a new logo and brand identity," Head of A-League Greg O'Rourke said.
"Developing this draw has been a challenging process to accommodate the preferences of the clubs, venue availability and also the AFC Champions League 2018.
"We have added a new feature to this season's draw with all clubs playing each other twice between rounds one to 18.
"The remaining nine rounds will see each club play each other once in the lead-up to the Hyundai A-League 2018 Finals Series. This stretch of nine rounds will be known as "The Chase" with 27 points on offer in the run home to round 27."
Also in round one, the Central Coast Mariners host the Newcastle Jets in the F3 Derby, Adelaide United visit Wellington Phoenix and the Western Sydney Wanderers welcome Perth Glory to Spotless Stadium.
Round two will see the first Melbourne Derby of the season, while Sydney FC and the Wanderers do battle a week later.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has also split rounds 20 and 22 to help clubs in the AFC Champions League.
Victory and Sydney have qualified for the group stage with Roar potentially joining them.
The 2017-18 Grand Final will be played on either May 5 or 6.