Tuesday, 4 August 2015

PREVIEW: FFA Cup Round of 32 Matchday 2

Edgeworth F.C (NNSW) v Melbourne City F.C (VIC)
Magic Park, Broadmeadow, NSW
Kickoff: 7:30pm

Tomorrow night is the one Edgeworth F.C have been waiting weeks for. It's arguably the biggest night in the history of Edgeworth Football Club as they host the richest team in Australia and A-League powerhouse Melbourne City at Magic Park. Sure it's not at the spiritual home of  the Eagles, Jack McLaughlan Oval which is disappointing in my opinion but it's still a game that will no doubt be packed of passionate fans in black and red.

Not too much more needs to be said about this game. Edgeworth will no doubt be up against the wall but Melbourne City will be without marquee striker Robert Koren and exciting youngster Jacob Melling. Edgeworth themselves have a young squad compared to some NPL clubs and they're becoming renowed and respected for giving the younger players a chance.

A 2-0 win over South Cardiff wasn't that convincing as both goals came in the last ten minutes but unlike Magic last week, the Eagles will go into this game well-rested after a few days break. I'll try my best to get to the majority of this match after my training session tomorrow night and make no doubt, this is the biggest game Edgeworth have played in years, if not ever. Unlike City, the Eagles have nothing to lose. They've succeeded by making it this far and ultimately I think it'll be the end of their FFA Cup journey but as a Novocastrian I certainly hope it's not.

My Tip: Edgeworth F.C 1-4 Melbourne City

Balmain Tigers (NSW) v Melbourne Victory (VIC)
Leichardt Oval, Sydney, NSW
Kickoff: 7:30pm

With last week's other FFA Cup previews I did a background on each club but I'm short on time this week and considering this is Newysports and not Heidelbergsports or Brisbanesports, I'll put my best effort into the Newcastle teams' previews. Anyway with that out of the way, onto the other fixtures.

What to say about this one. It's David v Goliath on steriods (no ASADA, Melbourne Victory aren't on steriods, it's a phrase). The Balmain Tigers (not the famous NSWRL team from the past) have done an amazing job to make it this far, absolutely amazing.

The Tigers big win over NPL side Bankstown City was the biggest in the club's history and they followed that with an amazing win on the road at Bathurst I believe against the Western NSW Mariners. The lowest-placed club in the FFA Cup though would miraculously draw the defending champions of Australia, the Melbourne Victory.

I'm a believer in miracles but there is simply no way the Balmain Tigers win this. They'll get a massive crowd at Leichardt Oval and play the biggest game of their lives but honestly, it could end 2-0, it could end 20-0. Victory lose this and there has to be an inquest. Simple as that. I'm one of many who would love to see the 'cupset' but you've got to be realistic about it.

My Tip: Balmain Tigers 0-7 Melbourne Victory

Gungahlin United v Sydney Olympic
Gungahlin Enclosed Ground, Canberra, A.C.T
Kickoff: 7:30pm

Gungahlin United have taken the NPL in the Australian Capital Territory by storm this season. Their results have fallen away a tad but their miracle win over Belconnen United in the Federation Cup final sealed their pathway into the FFA Cup and a home game awaits them in the Round of 32. Their opponents, NPL powerhouse Sydney Olympic.

Olympic were stunned by FFA Cup fairytale side Bentleigh Greens last season in the Round of 16 and they'll be looking to do better than that in their second campaign in the nation-wide knockout competition. They'll see themselves as should be winners against Gungahlin but a road trip to the nation's capital is a danger game.

Gungahlin has been out of form as of late and their latest match in the NPL was a 2-0 loss to ladder leaders Cooma Tigers. Sydney Olympic's last match, a comprehensive 4-0 win at home to ladder-leading Blacktown City. Olympic should win this one but you never quiet know in cup football.

Sydney United 58 v South Hobart
Sydney United Sports Centre, Sydney, NSW

Kickoff: 7:30pm

A rematch of the original NPL playoff final sees Mark Rudan's Sydney United 58 host Tasmanian NPL powerhouse South Hobart. The ladder-leaders in Tasmania, South Hobart come into their second straight FFA Cup campaign looking to go one further than their effort last year when they went down to fairytale side Tuggeranong United in a thrilling penalty shootout.

Sydney United's form in the NPL has been horrific this season and their last match was a 5-0 loss to Manly United. I have a feeling United will be much more improved in this one and they come into it as heavy favourites. A state league team travelling interstate is never easy but the South Hobart boys only need to look at the Metrostars' effort last week as inspiration.

When these sides met in the 2013 NPL Final, Sydney United were comfortable 5-0 winners. It'll probably be close this time round but I think it'll be a win for the home side nonetheless.

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