Preview: Westfield FFA Cup Semi Final MD 2

After their demolition derby loss ten days ago, it’s now Melbourne Victory with the winning momentum going into Tuesday night’s huge FFA Cup semi final with big-spending rivals Melbourne City.

Two massive clubs, fierce rivals, genuine match-winners in both squads and one spot in the final of the Westfield FFA Cup against Sydney FC next month the prize. 

What a magical semi-final in prospect when Victoria’s two Hyundai A-League clubs lock horns at AAMI Park on Tuesday night just ten days after City made a mockery of Victory in the league with an emphatic 4-1 drubbing at Etihad. 

This one is at AAM Park though and Victory at least comes into the semi with winning momentum while City must regroup after a loss to Perth on Friday night. 

Following Marco Rojas’ dramatic late goal to help defeat Adelaide United 2-1 on Saturday night, that’s now two goals in two games for the ‘Kiwi Messi’ who’s in menacing form for the Big V.

Melbourne Victory stars Besart Berisha and Marco Rojas celebrate a goal in their Quarter-Final win over Bentleigh.

But Rojas isn’t a lone threat for Muscat's men. Besart Berisha got off the mark for the season with the opening goal against the Reds and is the Westfield FFA Cup’s leading goal scorer.

The speed of Mitch Austin is also a weapon while Oliver Bozanic also did well in the number 10 role in Victory’s last outing. Musky’s men have so much firepower.

And could we see a first start for teenage sensation Sebastian Pasquali. The talented midfielder came off the bench and set up Rojas’ winner on the weekend and is making quite an impression.

But City also possesses a squad with a huge attacking arsenal. Their full-on pressing game stifled Victory in their derby demolition and John van ‘t Schip will ask for a repeat of that game-plan.

The question is, is Kevin Muscat ready for it? Better still, can he devise a plan to evade the noose City put around them in midfield? 

While City lost 3-2 to Glory on Friday night, skipper Bruno Fornaroli is coming to the boil nicely with goals in back-to-back matches, while the hitherto unknown Fernando Brandan looks a gem.

Fernando Brandan

There are injury concerns over the likes of Bruce Kamau, who suffered a concussion on Friday night while Nicolas Colazo is racing the clock to return after missing out against Glory due to an inner-ear infection. 

Midfield is City’s strength with Luke Brattan starting the season in excellent form, while Neil Kilkenny and Anthony Caceres bring real quality. 

And then there’s a certain Caltex Socceroos legend. Tim Cahill knows what it’s like to play in the final of a Cup competition – playing with Millwall in England’s FA Cup final in 2004 - and would love the opportunity to do it with City.

So many top players, so much rivalry between the two clubs and so much at stakes. 

Can Victory exact some derby revenge and make it through to a second consecutive final or will City confirm themselves as Kings of Melbourne again after their derby win on October 15? 
Wherever you are, do not miss this.

The Westfield FFA Cup trophy.

Westfield FFA Cup 2016 Semi Finals – Match Day 2

Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City FC

Tuesday 25 October 2016

AAMI Park, Melbourne

Kick-off: 7:30pm local (7:30pm AEDT)

Referee: Shaun Evans

Assistant Referee 1Luke Brennan

Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Brown

Fourth Official: Jonathan Barreiro

Tickets: Click here for ticketing details

TV Broadcast: 7.00pm (AEDT) Live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 4 (Channel 505)

Radio Broadcast: 774 ABC Melbourne, Grandstand Digital, Online and via the ABC Radio Mobile App

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tags #MelbDerby #FFACup

Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Jason Geria, 4.Nicholas Ansell, 5.Daniel Georgievski, 6.Leigh Broxham, 7.Marco Rojas, 8.Besart Berisha, 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)

Unavailable: 10.James Troisi (collarbone)

Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas Sorensen (gk), 2.Manny Muscat, 3.Josh Rose, 4.Connor Chapman, 6.Osama Malik, 8.Neil Kilkenny, 9.Nicolas Colazo, 10.Anthony Caceres, 11.Bruce Kamau, 12.Nick Fitzgerald, 14.Daniel Arzani, 17.Tim Cahill, 18.Paulo Retre, 20.Dean Bouzanis (gk), 21.Ruon Tongyik, 22.Michael Jakobsen, 23.Bruno Fornaroli, 26.Luke Brattan, 27.Fernando Brandan

Unavailable: 7.Corey Gameiro (ACL – season), 28.Steve Kuzmanovski (international duty)