The 2018-19 A-League draw has been released, with clubs no longer facing the prospect of missing players due to national selection during international windows, with those breaks now incorporated into the schedule.
However, the A-League will continue during the 2019 Asian Cup, meaning sides with Socceroos and other players picked for the tournament will have to make do without in January.
The season will kick off later than in the past in order to accommodate the early-October international window, with Sydney FC travelling to face Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Friday, October 19 before a Melbourne derby between the Victory and City headlines Round 1 a day later.
The Newcastle Jets will only have to wait a few weeks for their chance at grand final revenge when they play reigning champions Melbourne Victory in Round 3, and new Perth coach Tony Popovic will go up against his former side when the Glory face Western Sydney in the opening round.
The season will once again feature a split round to accommodate teams competing in the Asian Champions League, and VAR will be a part of the A-League for another year, albeit from a new centralised facility.
With the late start to the season and the newly introduced international breaks, the finals won’t start until Friday, May 3, and the grand final will be played a fortnight later on either the 18th or 19th of the month.
Key 2018-19 A-League draw information
- Opening round begins on Friday 19 October 2018
- International breaks from 12-20 November 2018 and 18-26 March 2019
- No breaks for the AFC Asian Cup 2019
- Finals to begin on the weekend of 3-5 May 2019
- Grand final on the weekend of 18-19 May 2019
- Grand final re-match (Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory) in Round 3 (Saturday, 3 November 2018 at McDonald Jones Stadium)
Melbourne Derbies (Melbourne City FC v Melbourne Victory)
- Round 1 (Saturday 20 October 2018 @ Marvel Stadium)
- Round 9 (Saturday 22 December 2018 @ AAMI Park)
- Round 20 (Saturday 23 February 2019 @ Marvel Stadium)
Sydney Derbies (Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers FC)
- Round 2 (Saturday 27 October 2018 @ SCG)
- Round 8 (Saturday 15 December 2018 @ ANZ Stadium)
- Round 25 (Saturday 13 April 2019 @ ANZ Stadium)
F3 Derbies (Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets)
- Round 9 (Sunday 23 December 2018 @ Central Coast Stadium)
- Round 15 (Wednesday 23 January 2019 @ McDonald Jones Stadium)
- Round 22 (Saturday 16 March 2019 @ McDonald Jones Stadium)
Big Blue (Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC)
- Round 5 (Sunday 25 November 2018 @ Jubilee Oval)
- Round 16 (Saturday 26 January 2019 @ AAMI Park)
- Round 24 (Saturday 6 April 2019 @ SCG)
Original Rivalry: Adelaide United vs Melbourne Victory
- Round 7 (Saturday 8 December 2018 @ Marvel Stadium)
- Round 12 (Wednesday 9 January 2019 @ Coopers Stadium)
- Round 26 (Friday 19 April 2019 @ Coopers Stadium)
Fixtures played outside home cities
- Round 4 – Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Brisbane Roar FC @ Glen Willow Stadium, Mudgee – Saturday 10 November 2018
- Round 21 – Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets @ GMHBA Stadium, Geelong – Saturday 2 March 2019
Anzac Day Fixture: Round 27 – Brisbane Roar FC v Adelaide United @ Suncorp Stadium – Thursday, 25 April 2019
Round 21 will be a split round in order to accommodate back-to-back AFC Champions League Match Days 1 and 2 with fixtures scheduled as follows:
- Week 1 (1-3 March 2019) – Clubs participating in the AFC Champions League 2019
- Week 2 (8-9 March 2019) – No Clubs participating in the AFC Champions League 2019
- Fox Sports will show all matches of the A-League 2018/19 regular season and finals.
- Network Ten will broadcast one Saturday night match a week and every final live.
- All 2018-19 A-League matches will also be available on the MyFootball Live App.