Oakleigh Cannons coach Arthur Papas says his side are underdogs for their Westfield FFA Cup Quarter Final with attack-minded Hume City.
But he believes targeting Hume's back four is key to winning the biggest game in his club's history.
Hume was at full strength in their recent 4-3 friendly loss to Hyundai A-League champions Melbourne Victory (a result that was in Hume’s favour till time added on).
And Hume's FFA Cup success over Brisbane Strikers and Sydney Olympic has caught the imagination of the nation with its gung-ho attack
Meanwhile, Oakleigh loss 8-0 to Melbourne City in a friendly last week.
Hume has been a consistent side in the PS4 NPL Victoria, finishing fifth and falling just short of a Grand Final appearance, while the Cannons finished in 11th.
But all that has no bearing on Papas and his plans to shock the FFA Cup party at Hume.
“If you want to read into friendly matches to decide who’ll win on a Cup night... because the pressure, the motivation, everything is of a completely different level,” Papas told www.theffacup.com.au
“On Cup night with all the pressure and crowd, what’s happened prior is irrelevant but the crucial part of is the preparation over the week leading into the game."
“And unlocking their back four… they are weakened in the back four right now. They are missing two key defenders and in my front line I have the likes of Sean Rooney, Pavlovic, Danning to name just three.
“I’d like to put their back four under pressure and see how they cope. Those losses could hurt them.”
Oakleigh beat Hume 2-0 in the Docherty Cup semi finals at a neutral venue this season but lost in the league at the ABD Stadium.
“They’ve been one of the standouts of the NPL in Victoria, going within a game of the Grand Final and have had a fantastic FFA Cup run," said Papas, who's back in Victoria after three years coaching in the I-League and the IPL in India.
“And even that 4-3 loss against Victory just shows the quality of Hume. They will go in as the favourites...
“At the same time we haven’t been as consistent as Hume, but what we’ve shown is that when it comes to the big games this season, we’ve been able to for the most part get up for them.
“Absolutely it’ll be a real challenge to get a result. But at the right time of year we’ve found our form,” Papas said.
The Cannons coach added that his team’s win on the road in the Round of 16 was as perfect as it gets.
“We’ve a player called Goran Zoric who’s been overseas for the last six weeks and he rejoins the team. Johnny Black is one of the visa players who will also come back into contention.
“So all things going well, we’re actually at our strongest at the time we need to be.”
Hume City FC v Oakleigh Cannons
Tuesday 22 September, 2015
ABD Stadium, Broadmeadow, VIC
Kick Off 7.30pm (local)
Tickets are available at the Hume City Social Rooms at ABD Stadium until Monday 21st September 9pm and then will be available at the match.