It’s a classic ‘David v Goliath’ as Victorian PS4 NPL club Bentleigh Greens host Hyundai A-League league leaders Perth Glory with a coveted spot in the Westfield FFA Cup final on the line.
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, Cheltenham (VIC)
Kick-off: 7:30pm local (7:30pm AEDT)
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Tickets: Click here for ticketing details
TV broadcast: LIVE and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 4 and 4HD
Radio broadcast: ABC Grandstand Digital, online at www.abc.net.au/grandstand and on the ABC Smartphone app
3XY Radio 1422AM
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Bentleigh Greens squad: 1.Christopher VAN CORLER (GK), 2.Thomas MATTHEWS, 3.James CUMMING, 4.Patrick AVICE, 5.Jack WEBSTER, 7.Jamie DE ABREU, 8.Wayne WALLACE (c), 9.Luke O’DEA, 12.Luke GALLO, 13.Ryan LOSTY, 15.Christian CAVALLO, 16.Nick TEICHMAN, 19.Liam McCORMICK, 21.Alistair BRAY (GK), 22.Lewis FOSTER, 24.Luke PILKINGTON
Perth Glory squad: 1.Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), 2.Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O’NEILL, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Youssouf HERSI, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebosja MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 14.Chris HAROLD, 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 22.Cameron EDWARDS, 23.Michael THWAITE (c), 24.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 25.Matt DAVIES, 30.Jordan THURTELL (GK)
**two to be omitted**
Can the battlers Bentleigh keep their fairy-tale Cup run going or will Glory’s experience, fitness and class shine through?
On paper, you’d think Glory in a canter - after all they are leading the Hyundai A-League - but if the Greens won it’d be the biggest shock of this year’s Westfield FFA Cup.
Kingston Heath will again be packed to the rafters with 3000 fans set to cram into the Cheltenham complex (they’ve also stocked up on meat for the souvlaki stand, which is tipped to do another roaring trade!).
The Greens have been riding high ever since booking their spot in the last four as the remaining member federation club with their 2-1 extra-time win over Adelaide City a fortnight ago. Coach John Anastasiadis has managed to wring every little bit of effort, spirit and ability out of his Greens squad.
Bricklayers, waiters, school teachers and students will all hope they can produce another big 90-minute performance despite being out of season.
Greens skipper Wayne Wallace, who scored the late equaliser against Adelaide City last month, will again be crucial for the home side’s chances.
Perth-raised Jamie De Abreu has caught the eye with every outing in the Westfield FFA Cup and will also relish a shot at the Glory, while Luke O’Dea – a former Melbourne Victory and Heart youth player – also adds class and experience to the side.
Two other Lukes – Gallo and Pilkington – are a couple of additional in form players who could hurt the Glory.
It will be interesting to see how Kenny Lowe’s side back up for this one just 48 hours after their Hyundai A-League win over Central Coast Mariners on Sunday.
The Glory could battle some fatigue late-on which is why Lowe has brought an extended 21-man squad to Melbourne.
They will definitely be without Mitch Nichols (Socceroos), Jamie Maclaren, Riley Woodcock and Jack Duncan (all Olyroos) to international duty but the likes of Chris Harold, Mitch Oxborrow, Brandon O’Neill, Cameron Edwards and Matt Davies will join the squad in Melbourne as some added cover.
While the short-turnaround is a hurdle, Glory still posses a star-studded squad which has them as hot favourites against Bentleigh’s part-timers.
Republic of Ireland striker Andy Keogh has been in sensational goal-scoring form, winger Youssouf Hersi is a threat while Roma-bound teenager Daniel De Silva adds some class to the midfield.
Nebojsa Marinkovic, whose stunning free-kick won the game against the Mariners on the weekend, has also produced some of his best during the early rounds of this competition.
It all adds up to what should be another drama-filled night at Kingston Heath – especially if the unthinkable becomes reality and the part-times knock off the stars.
Can Bentleigh upstage one of the Hyundai A-League’s powerhouses or will the Glory continue their brilliant start to the season and edge closer to the first piece of silverware up for grabs?