MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 06: Joanna Lin of the Magpies celebrates during the 2021 AFLW Round 02 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Geelong Cats at Victoria Park on February 06, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The AFLW season is set to finally get underway on January 6 with a 10 round fixture expected to entertain fans around the country. Pushed back by a month due to Covid border restrictions, the season will officially kick off in the first week of the new year, nearly nine months after the conclusion of the 2021 season.

With ten rounds of action and 70 games set, we here at Zero Hanger have determined some of the unmissable games of the 2022 AFLW season.

Round 1

St Kilda v Richmond - January 7, SkyBus Stadium, 7:15pm

With the traditional season opener at Ikon Park replaced due to redevelopment works, this match up between the Saints and Tigers is sure to set the tone for the rest of the AFLW season. The Saints will be forced from their home ground while RSEA Park undergoes renovations, but will play the season opener under lights at Skybus stadium in Frankston. Both teams failed to make finals last year finishing 10th (Richmond) and 11th (St Kilda), but will be looking to make an immediate impact on the competition in the prime time slot.

The two sides haven't met since 2020, the inaugural season for both clubs. The Saints won that Round 6 clash easily, restricting the Tigers to just three points. Off-season recruit Jess Hosking has joined sister Sarah at Punt Road, adding years of valuable experience to the Richmond midfield. Down at Moorabbin, the 2021 best and fairest recipient Georgia Patrikios is still absent from the club as she weighs up vaccination mandates, while runner up Tyanna Smith will miss the 2022 season after suffering a knee injury at training. While not a traditional opening blockbuster between two certain finals teams, the match up between the Saints and Tigers will be the perfect start to an AFLW season that is sure to be at its unpredictable best.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 28: Tyanna Smith, Hannah Priest and Claudia Whitfort of the Saints celebrate after the 2021 AFLW Round 09 match between the West Coast Eagles and the St Kilda Saints at Mineral Resources Park on March 28, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Gary Day/Getty Images)

Round 3

Gold Coast v Brisbane - January 22, Metricon Stadium, 7:10pm

Reigning premiers Brisbane have been rewarded for their standout 2021 season with a fixture featuring six games in Queensland. Round 3 looks to be one to bookmark, with the QClash taking place at Metricon Stadium during Pride Round. Gold Coast, who found themselves winless after nine rounds of competition in 2021, will be looking for steady improvement in 2022 to avoid collecting another wooden spoon but will face fierce opposition in their state rivals. Pride Round, which was held for the first time in 2021, will be celebrated across the seven games in Round 3, with the QClash on Saturday January 22 to be one of the biggest draw-cards.

Full AFLW fixture 

Round 5

BrisbaneCollingwood - February 5, Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex, 5:10pm

An emerging rivalry continues in Round 5 as Collingwood travel to the sunshine state for a clash with Brisbane. The rematch of one of 2021's preliminary finals, in which the Lions bested the Pies by just 4 points in a Saturday afternoon thriller, is sure to produce the entertainment fans have come to expect from these two. An earlier 2021 clash in Round 7 saw the Lions prevail by just three points, setting the scene for the Round 5 clash in 2022 to be another nail-bitter. New faces, Sabrina Frederick for the Pies and Phoebe Monahan for the Lions, are sure to be settled in by Round 5 adding a new layer of intrigue to an already bitter rivalry.

Round 8

Adelaide v Brisbane - February 27, Norwood Oval, 3:10pm

Clashes between these two clubs are never a dull affair, with Round 8 expected to be no different. Fans will have to wait until February to see the 2021 grand final rematch, but with both teams looking in good form heading into 2022, the game should be worth the wait. 2021 premiers Brisbane will have to travel to South Australia after spending a month at home, hoping to replicate their 18-point winning performance in the grand final.

Held in Round 8's Indigenous Round, the rematch is set to be the blockbuster fixture as the competition heads into the final weeks of the home and away season, making the result even more intriguing.

Fremantle v West Coast - February 26, Optus Stadium, 9:10pm

Fremantle and the Eagles return to Optus Stadium after time on the road in Round 8, with the annual Western Derby locked into the Saturday night prime time fixture. Alongside the grand final rematch, the cross-town clash is a headline event in Indigenous Round with the two set to clash under the lights in Perth. The 2020 derby, played at Optus Stadium with a crowd of 35,185, was one to remember for Fremantle, winning by 45 points. The 2021 match, played in torrential rain, saw Fremantle win by nine points.Ending the year 12th while their rivals made the finals, West Coast should be coming into this game determined to turn Perth gold and royal blue.

Round 10

Melbourne v Carlton - Casey Fields, TBC

One of the most anticipated clashes of the year, Melbourne and Carlton's Round 10 match-up marks the first time star Demon Tayla Harris will come up against her old side. Making the move to Casey after contract negotiations broke down with the Blues, Harris is sure to be a big talking point heading into the final round of the season. Harris played a total of 29 games across four seasons with Carlton, kicking 25 goals and becoming one of the competitions most recognisable faces. Facing her old club with both teams potentially in finals positions, the wait until Round 10 will be worth it for supporters and neutrals alike.