Westfield FFA Cup preview

Melbourne City FC V Sydney FC


Venue: Morshead Park, Ballarat, Victoria

KO: 7.30pm

This is arguably the tie of the entire opening round with two of the Hyundai A-League heavyweights going head-to-head.

It will be an historic night in Ballarat as City make their make their first competitive outing as a club.

John van ‘t Schip’s side have been impressive so far in the pre-season and recently returned from a 17-day tour of the UK which included a big win over Bolton Wanderers.

In a real treat for Australian fans, new recruit Damien Duff is likely to start against the Sky Blues for his first outing for the club Down Under.

New international marquee Robert Koren is still a chance to line-up for his new side if he proves his fitness, while David Williams could also play after Foxtel A-League All Stars duty.

Sydney have been in good form of their own, warming up for the FFA Cup clash with a 3-2 win over NSW NPL club Bonnyrigg last week.

They are building nicely under new boss Graham Arnold who is keen for the club to go on a lengthy cup run.

Corey Gameiro, who scored a brace against Bonnyrigg, has been in scintillating form in the pre-season and will be a key for Sydney, who will be without marquee man Marc Janko, Shane Smeltz and Alex Brosque.

Bernie Ibini and Ali Abbas will be assessed on Tuesday following their outing against Juventus on Sunday night but Sasa Ognenovski should be right to line-up despite pulling out of the All Stars clash.

Ibini impressed Juventus coach Masimilliano Allegri – will he be the difference in Ballarat? Or can City’s new star Koren kick off his Aussie adventure with some Cup magic?