25 days to go: The storylines you need to know

The excitement is building with the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season almost here.

And as we enter the last month before the new campaign begins, we’re counting down all the big storylines.

We’ll have you covered with everything you need to know as we head towards Round 1.

ULTIMATE GUIDE: What you need to know about the 2019/20 Season
HOW TO WATCH: Every game in the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season

25 days to go: Can Fornaroli fire Perth one step further?

Is Bruno Fornaroli the missing piece of the Perth Glory jigsaw?

Perth fans will certainly hope so.

Fornaroli - who was snared by Tony Popovic after his exit from Melbourne City last February - scored 57 goals in all competitions for the Victorians.

The Uruguayan side had joined City in 2015, and scored 25 goals in his debut 2015/16 campaign to wrap up the Golden Boot.

If he even goes close to replicating that kind of form, Perth will be a real force to be reckoned with.

26 days to go: What will the ladder look like after the final game?

Perth Glory and Central Coast Mariners will play the final game of the 2019/20 Season on April 26, 2020 - and it's one that could be crucial in determining Finals Series spots.

With 11 clubs now in the competition, five teams will miss out on the top six and the opportunity to vie for the Championship in the Grand Final.

Last season's Premiers, Glory, closed the 2018/19 Season with a resounding 5-0 win to launch a strong run into the Finals Series.

But, with a new feel to the Mariners under coach Alen Stajcic, Central Coast will be aiming to secure a spot in the top six. That final game of the season against Perth could prove crucial.

EVERY SIGNING: Central Coast Mariners

27 days to go: A new rivalry will be born

October 13. Mark it down in your calendar.

This, of course, is the date of Western United's first Hyundai A-League match - away to Wellington Phoenix.

But it could also be the birth of a bitter rivalry, as former Phoenix stalwart Mark Rudan leads the league newcomers across the ditch.

Wellington were a club reborn under Rudan's tutelage in 2018/19, before he left New Zealand with a year remaining on his contract. 

And when he returns to the Kiwi capital with Andrew Durante, Max Burgess and Filip Kurto in tow, who all joined Rudan in Melbourne, the new kids on the block are sure to receive a baptism of fire.

28 days to go: Can Kurz lead Victory back to the top?

As usual, the winds of change swept through the Hyundai A-League in pre-season.

There were big intra-club transfers - see Sydney FC's double swoop for Alexander Baumjohann and Kosta Barbarouses, from rivals Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory - exciting new faces from abroad, and some familiar ones who have returned Down Under too.

But the coaching line up was given a big reshuffle too, and one of the biggest shifts was that of Marco Kurz's move from Adelaide United to Melbourne Victory.

The German won 28 matches during his two-term post in the City of Churches, making back to back FFA Cup Finals, and winning the 2018 edition against Sydney FC.

Kurz was unveiled as Kevin Muscat's successor back in June. Is he the man to bring more silverware to the four-time Champions of Australia?

INS AND OUTS: Melbourne Victory

29 days to go: Will there be a 20th player to score on their #MelbDerby debut?

The battle for supremacy in Melbourne may have a new player this season – with the introduction of Western United FC – but it’s City and Victory that meet in the opening round.

Both clubs – under new coaches with Erick Mombaerts at City and Marco Kurz at Victory – have recruited strongly and what better way for the new faces to endear themselves to their fans by scoring in their derby debut.

Jamie Maclaren became the 19th player from either club to score in their first Melbourne Derby when he slotted a penalty in the 1-1 draw at the end of last season.

In doing so, Maclaren joins the likes of Ola Toivonen, Keisuke Honda, Tim Cahill, Besart Berisha and Ritchie De Laet to score in their first #MelbDerby.

Will there be a 20th in the opening round blockbuster at Marvel Stadium?

FIXTURES: What the opening round Derby will tell us about City
FIXTURES: Why Victory need to make early statement in battle for Melbourne

30 days to go: Adelaide United and Sydney FC open the season at Coopers Stadium

Coopers is sure to be rocking as the new campaign gets underway with a clash between two sides that are establishing a feisty little rivalry in recent seasons.

Adelaide United and Sydney FC have met in the last two FFA Cup Finals and the intensity level always seems to go up a notch when they square off.

The Reds will be keen to get off to a flying start in front of their home fans in what will be new coach Gertjan Verbeek’s first Hyundai A-League match in charge.

It’s sure to be a tough test against the reigning champions, who will head to the City of Churches with a beefed-up squad ready to begin their title defence on the right note.

So mark down Friday, October 11 in your diaries as we begin the first of 150 matches to decide the next Hyundai A-League Champions.

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