4 talking points: FFA Cup opening night

Next Wednesday night July 27, the third Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 begins – so here’s your bluffer’s guide to the top talking points as Cup fever ramps up.

Could the Stallions cause a colossal upset at the home of Cup fairytales?

In the main Fox Sports broadcast game, last year’s Cup fairtyale specialists now meet a side lower than them. It’s NPL 2 in NSW versus NPL 1 in Victoria when Hume – the 2015 FFA Cup semi finalists - host underdogs Marconi Stallions.

Marconi Stallions striker Marko Jesic celebrates scoring for the Newcastle Jets in 2010.

The former NSL powerhouse have signed three former A-League names but remain outsiders to win this at ABD Stadium, a venue that hosted some incredible Cup nights - and wins - for Hume in 2015. 

Jamie Carroll versus Keigo Moriyasu: the sharpshooter shootout in Cairns

Jamie Carroll: 13 goals in the PS4 NPL QLD versus goal machine from NNSW NPL, Japanese star Keigo Moriyasu on 14. Two class forwards. It’ll be fascinating to see who shines up north next Wednesday night at Barlow Park in Cairns when FNQ Heat host Edgeworth FC.

Keigo Moriyasu

One thing is for sure, both these quality strikers will have a big say in who wins, even though Heat are hot favourites after finally drawing a home game following consecutive away ties in previous Round of 32 fixtures in 2014 and 2015. 

Why the NPL Western Sydney Derby will be the game of the night

Blockbuster. An oft-used term but in this case, it’s a perfect description of Blacktown City hosting Sydney United58. Mark Rudan’s United are nine points clear at the top in NSW and by most judges, an absolute machine.

Sydney United enjoyed a 2-0 win over Parramatta FC over the weekend. Image: Football NSW

Their closest challenger? You guessed it, it's Blacktown. So it’s top two out west in Sydney as City eye taking down the team that's taking the league by storm. Do not miss this.

Can Rovers Darwin FC put NT on the Cup map?

How will Brisbane Strikers adapt to the travel and conditions in Darwin? Last year an A-League side in Adelaide United swept aside Darwin Olympic 6-1.

Darwin Olympic and Shamrock Rovers turned on a Cup classic

This time, you sense Rovers – a club that only formed in 2014 - may have more of a chance of making NT football history by progressing against an NPL side. Still, it’d be a huge story if they did.