The EP of football at Fox Sports, Murray Shaw, picks five must-watch A-League games going down this season.
1. Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory (December 23, 2017)
This is always one of the highlights of the A-League season. The traditional pre-Christmas Melbourne Derby never fails to deliver. Once again this match promises to be something special with both sides desperate to stamp their mark on the competition by getting one over their nearest and fiercest rival.
2.Sydney FC v Newcastle Jets (January 3, 2018)
Sydney FC is the team to beat this season. The defending champions have followed on from their record-breaking season last year and are the short-priced favourites to go back-to-back. Newcastle Jets is the competition’s dark horse and have excelled this season with their attacking brand of football. The Sky Blues have always had the edge in this fixture but Newcastle will know that a win can set down a marker for the rest of the season.
3. Western Sydney v Melbourne Victory (January 19, 2018)
These two sides have developed a fierce rivalry over recent years. Both teams have had a stuttering first half of the season and know they need to finish strongly if they want to be in contention come the end of the campaign. This is verging on a must-win match for both sides.
4. Sydney FC v Central Coast (January 20, 2018)
Central Coast stunned the defending champions when the two sides met earlier this season. The Mariners have surprised plenty of people this season with their exciting brand of football. Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold used to be in charge of the Mariners and he’d love nothing better than exacting some revenge in this match.
5. Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC (January 26, 2018)
It’s another edition of the Big Blue. Two of the competition’s biggest teams meeting on Australia Day in Melbourne. Sydney FC have had the wood on the Victory in recent times and Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat would love nothing better than getting one over Graham Arnold’s Sydney FC. There are fireworks in this one both on and off the field.