Preview: Brisbane Strikers v Melbourne City
Brisbane Strikers v Melbourne City FC
Wednesday 24 August 2016
Perry Park, Bowen Hills (QLD)
Kick-off: 7:30pm local (7:30pm AEST)
Referee: Peter Green
Assistant Referee 1: David Walsh
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin
Fourth Official: Jarred Gillett
Tickets: Click here for ticketing details
TV Broadcast: 7.00pm (AEST) Live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 4 (Channel 505)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tags #STRvMCY #FFACup
Brisbane Strikers squad: 1.Sebastian Usai (gk), 2.Chris Maher, 3.Tomas Ross, 4.Jake Marshall, 5.Greig Henslee, 6.Fraser Hills, 7.Felli Sheriff, 8.Michael Angus, 9.Rhys Meredith, 11.Jonti Richter, 12.Shaun Carlos, 13.Sam Knight, 14.Jake McLean, 15.Jesse Weimers, 16.Fraser Stevens, 17.Hiroki Omori, 18.Trent Clulow, 19.Luke Marsh, 20.Michael Weier (gk), 21.Sam Johnson, 24.Ryan Palmer, 25.Lachlan Weier
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas Sorensen (gk), 2.Manny Muscat, 3.Josh Rose, 4.Connor Chapman, 6.Osama Malik, 8.Neil Kilkenny, 11.Bruce Kamau, 12.Nick Fitzgerald, 14.Daniel Arzani, 17.Tim Cahill, 18.Paulo Retre, 20.Dean Bouzanis (gk), 21.Ruon Tongyik, 23.Bruno Fornaroli, 26.Luke Brattan, 28.Steve Kuzmanovski, 29.Anthony Caceres, 27.Fernando Brandan, 34.Denis Genreau, 36.Austin Wong, 35.Bradley Clarke, 30.Connor Metcalfe, 37.Yusuf Ahmed, 38.Jordon Hall, 40.Yaren Sozer (gk)
In their third straight year in the Westfield FFA Cup, the Strikers will finally get to host a match at their home ground Perry Park.
And what a fixture it is with Hyundai A-League club Melbourne City – fresh from signing Caltex Socceroo Tim Cahill – coming to town for what will be a ripper night in Brisbane.
Whether Cahill – who hasn’t played a competitive match for over a month – will feature in the squad or not, this will be a clash not to be missed.
Even without the Socceroos' greatest-ever scorer, City possess a star-studded squad that will be heavily favoured to progress to the last 16. But the Strikers (a former NSL club) will relish the chance to make their mark on the national stage again.
It should be noted that the Strikers – coached by Kevin A’Herne-Evans – secured the PS4 NPL title in Queensland just over a week ago so will approach this challenge full of confidence.
They also spanked Rovers Darwin 6-0 in the Top End in the Round of 32 with six different scorers, underlining a real strength all over the park.
Striker Rhys Meredith is their main man though, with 17 goals from 18 appearances in the league, while youngster Jake McLean often produces his best in the Cup.
Defender Greig Henslee, ex-Roar flyer Jonti Richter and the exciting Hiroki Omori add experience and quality to the side as well.
What a chance to make a real statement than against the cashed-up A-League heavyweights Melbourne City. John van ‘t Schip’s side is full of talent and attacking arsenal but are relatively early in their pre-season and short on match fitness.
It was only a cracking strike from Anthony Caceres that enabled them to see off a stubborn Floreat Athena last round. But you only have to scan through City’s options to understand the size of the task facing the home side.
Bruno Fornaroli, Neil Kilkenny, Luke Brattan, Nick Fitzgerald, Bruce Kamau, Fernando Brandan and Caceres...
With pressure to add some silverware to their trophy cabinet – and with two Hyundai A-League clubs already falling to NPL opposition - City won’t underestimate the Strikers.
If they do, we might just see another Cup boilover in 2016.
The Strikers also have an added incentive to take it to City with the NAB Golden Goals initiative, which will see the Westfield FFA Cup partner NAB give any Member Federation club $2,500 for each goal they score against a Hyundai A-League opponent.