Tuesday, 28 July 2015

PREVIEW: FFA Cup Matchday 1

Newysports.com's FFA Cup Match Of The Day:

This will no doubt be one of the biggest games in the history of the Palm Beach Soccer Club. The defending champions of the Queensland NPL have been here before. They hosted A-League side Central Coast Mariners at Cbus Super Stadium (that's Robina Stadium for those traditionalists) and went down 5-0. That game was played nationally on Fox Sports.

They're back on the big stage in front of the cameras and this time they're up against the best team in the history of Australian football, South Melbourne F.C. South Melbourne don't need an introduction for those old-school soccer fans but for the new-age, they're the real deal.

Those four stars above South Melbourne's logo aren't there for decorations. I could rattle off all their titles but I'll say, champions of Australia on multiple occasions and importantly, the first Australian side to compete at the FIFA Club World Cup. One of their opponents at the 2000 Club World Cup, Manchester United. This team was the biggest in Australia for a long, long time.

Now they find themselves back on the national stage after a long time away. It's one of the biggest games in South Melbourne's recent history as they've promised to make a cup run and they're dead serious about their ambition to play in the Hyundai A-League.

There's so much to prove in this game but I think South Melbourne will be too strong. As I said, they've put their ambitions on the table and now they need to step up and prove themselves.

My Tip: Palm Beach 0-3 South Melbourne

I'll admit it; I don't know too much about Heidelberg United or the Victorian NPL for that matter but I know Broadmeadow Magic inside-out and I know that this will require a massive effort if the out-of-form Magicians are to get something out of this game.

Heidelberg are a serious football team. They sit second in the PS4 NPL 1 Victoria and will prove to be a very tough opponent for Magic. In 1980, Heidelberg achieved arguably their greatest feat, winning the National Soccer League Grand Final. It was those times throughout the 80's that Heidelberg were one of the best teams in Australia.

Broadmeadow's form going into this game has not been impressive and a shock 3-1 loss to lowly South Cardiff on the weekend has Magic sitting on the brink of missing the finals for a second consecutive year which in the recent history of the club is unheard of.

I am Magic's part-time media man and I know the players very well. They'll be fired up for this game. They felt like they were hard done by last season against the Brisbane Strikers and I feel like they will be keen to make a run in the FFA Cup this season.

Even if Magic were in good form, I'd have my doubts. Broadmeadow's been in some poor form lately and I think this could be another tough one to take. Being a Magic supporter and a supporter of local sides I hope not but I think the visitors Warriors from Heidelberg will be too strong.

My Tip: Broadmeadow 1-4 Heidelberg

The current ladder-leaders in the New South Wales NPL will be hosting the defending National Premier Leagues champions, Adelaide's Metrostars at the Lily Homes Stadium. Blacktown City may not be the most successful club in Sydney, think Olympic and United for that, but they boast a long history and are on track for silverware in 2015.

The team formerly known as the demons are looking like a very strong chance of lifting the minor premiership in three week's time when Sydney's premier football competition finishes. They have lost just one game this season and that came all the way back on April 26th. Make no doubt, they are heavy favourites to win this game against their visitors from South Australia.

The Metrostars aren't very well known across the country but they are a force in Adelaide and proved themselves on a national level last year by winning the end-of-season NPL Championship. Their form has been poor, losing three straight and considering their most recent loss was against bottom-placed side Para Hills, I think the Metrostars will be up against the wall in Blacktown.

My Tip: Blacktown City 3-1 Metrostars

Hume City aren't having the best season in the Victorian NPL but it was only three weeks ago that they beat ladder-leaders and FFA Cup heroes of last year, the Bentleigh Greens. They have one of the best grounds in Melbourne and are a very serious football club. They qualified with some decent results, including a tricky away win at Ballarat.

I got to see the Brisbane Strikers up close and personal last year when they beat Broadmeadow Magic in the thrilling FFA Cup opener. They're back for a second tilt and considering they're leading the comp in Brisbane at the moment, I'd consider the former NSL side as a tough opposition.

Travelling halfway across Australia for a Wednesday night fixture isn't easy though and I think Hume City will prove to be too strong in this game. I could be wrong but it's Hume for my money.

My Tip: Hume City 2-0 Brisbane Strikers

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