Preview: Bentleigh Greens v Melbourne Victory
Bentleigh Greens v Melbourne Victory
Tuesday 27 September 2016
Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, Cheltenham
Kick-off: 7:30pm local (7:30pm AEST)
Referee: Alan Milliner
Assistant Referee 1: Luke Brennan
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Toth
Fourth Official: Jonathan Barreiro
Tickets: Click here for ticketing details
TV Broadcast: 7.00pm (AEST) Live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 4 (Channel 505)
Radio Broadcast: 3XY Radio 1422AM or online at greekmediagroup.com
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tags #BGRvMVC #FFACup
Bentleigh Greens squad: 1.Ryan Scott (gk), 2.Nick Apostolopulos, 5.Jack Webster,6.Liam McCormick, 8.Wayne Wallace, 10.Tyson Holmes, 11.Dion Kirk, 12.Joshua Brindell-South, 14.Kamal Ibrahim, 15.Ross Archibald, 16.Troy Ruthven, 17.John Maclean, 18.Matthew Thurtell, 19.Kieran Dover, 20.Marinos Panayi, 21.Zackery Demetri (gk), 22.Ryan Paczkowski, 23.Naim Delibajric, 24.Luke Pilkington
Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Jason Geria, 3.Scott Galloway, 4.Nicholas Ansell,5.Daniel Georgievski, 6.Leigh Broxham, 7.Marco Rojas, 8.Besart Berisha, 10.James Troisi, 11.Mitch Austin, 13.Oliver Bozanic, 14.Fahid Ben Khalfallah, 15.Alan Baro,16.Rashid Mahazi, 17.James Donachie, 19.George Howard, 20.Lawrence Thomas (gk), 21.Carl Valeri, 22.Stefan Nigro, 23.Jai Ingham, 25.Sebastian Pasquali,27.Alastair Bray (gk), 30.Lucas Spinella (gk)
Victoria takes centre stage as PS4 NPL Victorian heavyweights Bentleigh Greens aim to slay the defending Westfield FFA Cup champions.
Could we see an upset of epic proportions Kingston Heath as the part-timers face off with the Hyundai A-League giants in this Melbourne Derby.
On paper, Victory should have little trouble reaching the semi-finals again. They are unbeaten in pre-season, have a star-studded squad and coach Kevin Muscat will ensure they won’t take this easy with the A-League season just around the corner.
If Bentleigh somehow find a way past Victory, it would surely rate as the biggest upset in the competition’s history.
But the Greens have history in the Cup – semi-finalists in 2014 – and as we know, anything can happen in sudden-death football.
John Anastasiadis’ Bentleigh have shown great resilience on their charge to the quarters, with two hard-fought wins on the road.
It took penalties to see off MetroStars in the last 32, while they went to extra-time in the wind and rain in Devonport before accounting for the Strikers 1-0.
They have shown no shortage of character, composure and quality to progress.
With striker Chris Lucas missing through injury, it will be up to the likes of Matt Thurtell, former Melbourne Heart striker Kamal Ibrahim, Troy Ruthven and Tyson Holmes to pick up the attacking slack.
Jack Webster, Josh Brindell-South and Luke Pilkington bring experience and talent to the Greens line-up, too.
Greens’ 3-1 loss to Edgeworth Eagles in the PS4 NPL national finals last week was a blow, but it has allowed them to focus solely on this shot at glory.
For Victory, they’ve come through their pre-season relatively smoothly, winning matches, playing some good football and integrating the new faces into the team seamlessly.
Marco Rojas and James Troisi have added pace and directness to their attack, combining superbly with Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Oliver Bozanic and Co.
And you can’t forget Besart Berisha. The Albanian has scored in the first two rounds to be the competition’s all-time leading scorer and he’ll be the man Bentleigh will want to keep quiet on Tuesday night.
Victory will start as red-hot favourites but you can never rule Bentleigh out. Intriguing viewing it promises to be.