Just What The Doctor Ordered

Source: Image courtesy of www.foxsports.com.au
Perth face Newcastle in the FFA Cup tonight without skipper Michael Thwaite. Source: Image courtesy of www.foxsports.com.au

Australian football fans have witnessed history with the first matches of the inaugural FFA Cup having been across the country. Last week, the competition which started with over 600 teams, had everything Aussie football fans crave - extra-time, a penalty shoot-out, red cards, late drama, loads of goals and an abundance of young talent in front of healthy crowds. The teams which have progressed include the Brisbane Strikers, Brisbane Olympic, Sydney Olympic and third tier Melbourne outfit, South Springvale.

Tonight a handful of A-league sides make their first appearance in the competition, including Newcastle who host Perth  at Wanderers Oval.

For the Jets, it will be the first time they line up since talented midfielder Josh Brilliante’s move to Serie A club, Fiorentina. Brilliante was a highlight for the Socceroos at the World Cup, and his impressive display caught the eye of scouts from all corners of the globe. 

Perth head into this match off an impressive 1-1  draw with La Liga side, Malaga, in a pre-season friendly. Danny Vukovic was a stand out for Glory in goal, pulling off a string of saves to frustrate the Spaniards on a number of occasions. Their squad, however, won’t be at full-strength as skipper Michael Thwaite has been rushed into the A-League All Stars squad to face Juventus on Sunday.

The other all-A-league encounter sees Wellington Phoenix  travel north to face Adelaide United . The Phoenix showed promising signs late last season under Ernie Merrick, and that form seems to have continued across the off-season. The kiwis were strong in defence against English giants Newcastle United, and although they lost that match 1-0 , they can take a lot out of the performance. 

The same can’t be said for the Reds though, who were ripped to shreds by Malaga 5-1 . Adelaide were dismal at the back and wasteful in front of goal, and the off-season loss of striker Jeronimo Neumann to Newcastle hasn't done the Reds' forward line any favours.

In other matches, South Hobart  play host to Tuggeranong United  in the first FFA Cup match played in Tasmania, while Parramatta FC are at home to Geelong based club, St Albans Saints . 

Nick's Tip: Newcastle to win  

Nick Chin - Twitter

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