Chelsea FC have touched down in Australia, bringing with them a star-studded 25-man squad.
Well we have waited long enough, but the 2018 Toyota AFL Premiership Season is finally back this weekend.
What do you think is in store in 2018? Can the Tigers go back to back? Or will Bryce Gibbs’ addition get the Crows over the line this time. Have the Giants finally come of age? Or is the homecoming of the favourite son the last piece to Geelong’s Premiership puzzle?.
Following the traditional season opener on Thursday between the Tigers and Blues, Essendon will take on last season’s Grand Finalists Adelaide on Friday night at Etihad Stadium, starting at 7:50pm
After adding Jake Stringer, Devon Smith and Adam Saad, the Dons believe they could be the real deal this season. Whilst it’s unclear how much of an impact the loss of Jake Lever will have on the Crows, bringing Bryce Gibbs back to his home state could pay huge dividends. In any case, both sides will be looking to get off to a flying start on Friday.
St Kilda and Brisbane will then kick off the Saturday matches, again at Etihad Stadium, with an afternoon start time of 3:35pm. The Saints will head into this season without Nick Riewoldt for the first time in 18 years, but they will be looking to their young brigade to step up and push them back into the top eight. Brisbane have one of the best young sides around, especially after adding number 1 pick, Cam Rayner, in the off-season. But is it a year or two too early for them to make a challenge at the finals?
One of the most exciting matches of the round comes on Sunday, at 4:20pm, as West Coast Eagles v Sydney becomes the first game to ever take place at Perth’s all-new Optus Stadium. Australia’s new stadium pinnacle will be jam-packed for the final match of the round.
The other matches in the round sees Port Adelaide take on Freo, Gold Coast against North Melbourne and the Hawks battle the Pies on Saturday. Whilst GWS will take on the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne play Geelong in the remaining Sunday games.
Grab your Round 1 tickets at Ticketmaster.com.au now.
In AFLW news, Brisbane will be looking to go one better than last year, as they take on the Western Bulldogs in the Grand Final.
This year’s final will be played in Melbourne, at Ikon Park on Saturday, starting at 12:35pm. The game is once again free of charge, so make sure you head on down to what is sure to be a packed crowd.