A Boxing Day blockbuster and the Christmas Melbourne Derby headline Melbourne Victory's start to the A-League season.
The first six rounds of the 2021/22 campaign were announced on Thursday, with Victory's season beginning against Western United on November 20.
Victory will face Western twice in the opening six games, including on Boxing Day, while also meeting City in the Christmas Derby.
We take a look at the key early fixtures, which are based on a conference system.
BOXING DAY BLOCKBUSTER
Round 6 will see Victory host Western United in a Boxing Day clash at AAMI Park, in a game played as part of a massive Derby double-header.
Victory's Championship-winning W-League side will take on City in a game kicking off at 5.05pm before the A-League encounter starts at 7.45pm.
Victory's A-League outfit will have already met Western – in Round 1 at GMHBA Stadium – ahead of Boxing Day.
After a draw and loss against Western last season, Victory recorded a 6-1 win on May 28 with Jake Brimmer and Ben Folami among those on the scoresheet.
Victory won't leave the state in the opening round, and the Club then faces Brisbane Roar (November 28) and Perth Glory (December 5) at AAMI Park.
Brisbane makes the trip to AAMI Park in Round 2 in what again shapes as a key early-season clash.
The meeting will mark the 50th A-League clash between the Clubs, with Victory winning 22 and losing 18 of the previous 49.
Victory will also be at home the following week, hosting Head Coach Tony Popovic's former Club, Perth Glory.
The teams split their two games last season, with Brimmer's dramatic late brace seeing Victory to a 2-1 win at AAMI Park on Australia Day.
Victory will face another rival, Adelaide United, at Coopers Stadium on December 11, before returning to Melbourne for the traditional Christmas Derby.
With the later start date to last season, there was no Christmas Derby, with the last edition played in 2019, when Victory claimed a 2-1 win thanks to Ola Toivonen's brace.
Victory is unbeaten in the past four Christmas derbies and has won six of the 10 played.
Of all 34 previous A-League Melbourne derbies, Victory has won 13 and lost 12, with the Christmas edition usually a must-see encounter.