With less than a month to go until the start of a brand-new Hyundai A-League season, it’s safe to say we’re starting to feel the excitement build up among fans and players alike.
Reigning champions Sydney FC will be in high spirits following their Grand Final victory over Perth Glory back in May, though they can expect to have their work cut out if they are to retain the title this year. Elsewhere, the introduction of Western United will certainly prove to be an interesting addition to the league.
Here’s a quick breakdown of three key things that every A-League fan need to know before the action kicks on 11th October.
There’s a new team
As part of the A-League’s ongoing expansion, the 2019/20 season will see the debut of Western United, a Melbourne-based team that will play their home matches in Geelong. Signs are positive regarding the potential competitiveness of this young side, particularly after United’s recent 2-1 friendly win over local rivals Melbourne City as part of their pre-season preparations.
Most bookmakers haven’t yet decided to offer an outright winner price for Western United, so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on the latest A-League betting news and predictions at bet365 to see what odds are on offer as soon as they get listed.
The number of gameweeks has changed
Unlike recent years which involved 27 rounds of games, this season will see a total of 29 gameweeks instead. With 11 teams now in the competition following the addition of Western United, one team will get a bye each week and won’t be involved in the action. Every club will receive three byes over the course of the season, which means that each team will actually play a total of 26 games (13 at home, 13 away).
Teams are scheduled to play each twice at least, though some teams will play each other three times in order to account for the full schedule of matches.
The key dates have been announced
Pen and paper at the ready! The first round of the 19/20 A-League season will take place from 11-13 October, with reigning champions Sydney FC kicking off against the mighty Adelaide United on the Friday. There’s also the enticing prospect of the season’s first Melbourne derby between Victory and City on 12 October.
Looking ahead, the last round of regular league action will be held across the Anzac Day weekend on 24-26 April next year. As for the Grand Final, that will take place on either 16 May or 17 May with the date to be confirmed closer to the time.
So, there we have it. Three key things you should be aware of before the brand-new A-League season gets underway next month. With a new system, new team and new expectations in place, it’s already shaping up to be one of the most exciting years in recent memory.