Six A-League Clubs Remain In FFA Cup

TattsBet Brekky Show soccer expert James Clark

Of the 631 clubs competing in the inaugural FFA Cup, six of the 10 A-League teams remain in contention. The FFA Cup concept is largely based on the English FA Cup and gives an opportunity to smaller grass roots minnow clubs in Australian football to be pitted against their professional and more fancied A-League outfits.

The potential for the aptly named “banana-skin” upset in the often talent mismatched encounters are what adds to the romance, as well as to the value for the punter in us all.

Here’s a brief look at the four games on the radar this week, with two A-League clubs (Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners) both looking to avoid that ‘slippery’ path and progress to the quarterfinal stage in October/November.

Sydney Olympic (NSW)  v Bentleigh Greens (Vic)  

This should be an entertaining and mouth-watering clash between two teams given their rich Greek history and a distinct smell of BBQ Souvlaki in the springtime air. I’m thinking Olympic could sneak home in this one, but given what’s at stake, don’t be surprised if they require extra-time to get the job done. The home ground advantage has been lessened with the fixture moved from the Belmore Sports Ground to Lambert Park in Leichardt.

Tip: Sydney Olympic (Goal Margin by 1 goal)

Tuggeranong United (ACT)  v Melbourne Victory (Vic)  

Melbourne Victory will be raging favourites as they make the long trip north to take on Tuggeranong United in the nation’s capital. Socceroo Carl Valeri makes a long awaited return to his junior club for the ‘David & Goliath’ battle that will ultimately see his classy professional Victory outfit progress past the passion-filled ‘Tuggies’ team littered with plumbers, accountants and hard working students.

Tip: Melbourne Victory Margin 2+ goals

Adelaide City (SA)  v Brisbane Strikers (Qld) 

This is the game that could throw up a surprise draw after 90mins. The Brisbane Strikers were National Premier League (Qld) Semi finalists after finishing the season in fourth place. They will look to their in-form striker Matthew Thurtell, who has scored 18 goals this season. In contrast, Adelaide City finished sixth in the SA league dominated by MetroStars, but will still be brimming with confidence after knocking off the highly fancied Asian Cup semi-finalists, the Western Sydney Wanderers, back in August. 

Tip: Draw after 90 mins

Olympic FC (Qld)  v Central Coast Mariners (NSW)

Olympic FC will be hoping they can turn around their Grand Final loss disappointment to Palm Beach on Friday night as they host Phil Moss’ Central Coast Mariners at QSAC in Brisbane. The Mariners are fresh from a 1-1 draw at Ballymore against A League Champions and Premiers Brisbane Roar. I think fitness will decide this one, and despite my heart going with Olympic, the head suggests the Mariners will come home strong and sail into the quarter finals on the back of superior fitness.

Tip: Mariners 2-0

James Clark

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