FFA Cup 2019 Preview: Round of 32 Match Day 2

The FFA Cup came back with a bang last week and it cranks up even further on Wednesday with the introduction of Hyundai A-League teams and, with it, the threat of giant killings.

Melbourne City and Central Coast Mariners will be desperate not to add their names to the infamous list of Hyundai A-League clubs who have fallen to member federation opponents in years gone by.

NEW BOYS: New Hyundai A-League signings to watch on FFA Cup Match Day 2
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There are fascinating sub plots to so many of this week's five ties. We have Central Coast seeking to turn over a fresh page, a new dawn for Melbourne City and some of Australia's grand old clubs - Marconi Stallions and Sydney United 58 - aiming to add another chapter to their history books.

That's not to mention FFA Cup debuts for teams from the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, from the Northern NSW coal fields and some plucky upstarts from NPL NSW Division 2.

Tigers FC v Hume City

The club from Cooma, the tiny town at the base of the Snowy Mountains, have shaken up the Canberra teams and are leading the pack in NPL ACT.

Tigers FC will make their FFA Cup Round of 32 debut on Wednesday and they will need to travel a 250km round trip to host Victorian outfit Hume City, with the clash being played in Canberra's Deakin Stadium.

That ground was the scene of the Tigers' dramatic, delayed, fog-covered penalty shootout triumph over Canberra FC which won them a ticket to the big time. 

But, with a roster laden with former Hyundai A-League talent, including James Brown, Theo Markelis and Mark Ochieng, Hume City are likely to be considered favourites.

The visitors have been at the national round three times before, going all the way to the Semi-Finals in 2015. After falling off the pace in NPL Victoria this season, the Broadmeadows club will have an eye on another deep run in the FFA Cup 2019.

TIGERS FC ULTIMATE GUIDE: Mountain men seeking to ascend to the FFA Cup summit
HUME CITY ULTIMATE GUIDE: Victorian heavyweights out to show FFA Cup pedigree

South Hobart v Marconi Stallions 

Locked in a neck-and-neck title race with Devonport City in NPL Tasmania, South Hobart will be forced to switch their attention to NPL NSW giants Marconi Stallions.

There was 98 years between South's first state championship and their most recent in 2017, but a maiden FFA Cup Round of 32 victory would be up there with the club's crowning achievements.

On both of their two previous visits to the national stage, South Hobart have fallen in crushing penalty shootout losses.

Marconi, the four-time national champions from Sydney, are riding in mid-table in NPL NSW this season.

The Stallions have also been to the Round of 32 on two previous occasions. Both sides will be hoping for third time lucky at Blundstone Arena in Bellerive, Tasmania.

SOUTH HOBART ULTIMATE GUIDE: A century of glory but only FFA Cup pain
MARCONI STALLIONS ULTIMATE GUIDE: National giants out for FFA Cup honours

St George FC v Sydney United 58

APIA Leichhardt Tigers were crowned the FFA Cup 2018 giant-killers when they stunned then-Hyundai A-League Champions Melbourne Victory. In 2019, NPL NSW 2 club St George FC are the slayers of the giant-killers.

The Saints, who sit in the bottom half of the NPL NSW's second tier, earned their FFA Cup Round of 32 spot by shocking NSW heavyweights APIA, and they will have no fear when they take the field at Ilinden Sports Centre against another NPL powerhouse in Sydney United 58.

The 2013 and 2016 NPL Champions may be fourth in a competitive division this season but expectations will be high for another love affair in the nation's biggest knockout competition in 2019.

ST GEORGE ULTIMATE GUIDE: The NPL2 club that slayed the giant-killers
SYDNEY UNITED 58 ULTIMATE GUIDE: NPL giants with potential for Cup glory

Maitland v Central Coast Mariners

The stakes are high in this New South Wales derby match as Alen Stajcic's Mariners travel 95km to the coal fields of the lower Hunter Valley to face Maitland.

After a decade in the wilderness, Maitland's rapid rise since their promotion back to the NPL Northern NSW top flight in 2014 will reach a crescendo when their Hyundai A-League opposition arrive in the little town with a population of fewer than 80,000 people. 

It's the first time in the FFA Cup Round of 32 spotlight for the Magpies and Stajcic's Mariners will be desperate to ensure there are no slip ups which allow bragging rights to fall into the hands of the neighbouring minnows.

This is a real chance for the Gosford club to show they are set to turn a corner after hitting the reset button once again following back-to-back Hyundai A-League wooden spoons.

MAITLAND FC ULTIMATE GUIDE: The club keen to keep punching above their weight

Campbelltown City v Melbourne City 

They have proven themselves as the cream of the National Premier Leagues, now Campbelltown City will aim to go one step better by knocking off Hyundai A-League opposition in the FFA Cup 2019.

The Red Devils make their first FFA Cup Round of 32 appearance live on Fox Sports, and the NPL South Australia Champions could be the thorn in new Melbourne City head coach Erick Mombaerts' side.

Mombaerts is openly trying to install an all-new tactical approach which will turn the previously goal-shy City into an attacking force.

Given this game arrives so early in Mombaerts' process, it will be interesting to see how quickly the City troops are picking up the Frenchman's methods. The NPL Champions will no doubt be ready to pounce on any opportunities which fall their way.

CAMPBELLTOWN CITY ULTIMATE GUIDE: Family of four aiming to take down City

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