Westfield FFA Cup preview: quarter finals MD1

Choi’s boys at Blacktown eye a Cup upset against the big boys from Sydney FC while Melbourne hosts an all-Hyundai A-League blockbuster - the FFA Cup is back with a bang on Wednesday night.

Blacktown City v Sydney FC

Wednesday 21 September 2016

Sydney United Sports Centre, Edensor Park

Kick-off: 7:30pm local (7:30pm AEST)

Referee: Peter Green

Assistant Referee 1: Scott Edeling

Assistant Referee 2: Lance Greenshields

Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas

Tickets: Click here for ticketing details

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

Radio Broadcast: Alive 90.5 (90.5FM) and online

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

Blacktown City players celebrate a goal in their FFA Cup win over Bonnyrigg.

Blacktown City squad: 1.Nenad Vekic (gk), 3.Giorgio Speranza, 4.Roberto Speranza, 6.Matthew Lewis, 7.Travis Major, 8.Sasa Macura, 9.Joseph Gibbs, 10.Connor Evans, 11.Danny Seung-Joo Choi, 12.Jonothan Grozdanovski, 14.Mitchell Mallia, 15.Shayne D’Cunha, 16.Patrick Antelmi, 17.Lewis Beumie, 19.Zachary Cairncross, 21.Riku Sasaki, 40.Tristan Prendergast (gk)

Sydney FC squad: 1.Vedran Janjetovic (gk), 2.Sebastian Ryall, 4.Alex Wilkinson, 5.Matthew Jurman, 6.Josh Brillante, 7.Michael Zullo, 8.Milos Dimitrijevic, 9.Bobo, 10.Milos Ninkovic, 12.Aaron Calver, 13.Brandon O’Neill, 14.Alex Brosque, 17.David Carney, 18.Matt Simon, 20.Danny Vukovic (gk), 21.Filip Holosko, 23.Rhyan Grant, 24.Charles Lokoli Ngoy, 29.Bai Antoniou

Bluffer’s Guide

The Sky Blues are bracing for a tricky test in Sydney’s west with in-form Blacktown City aiming to upstage Hyundai A-League opposition and book a dream Westfield FFA Cup semi-final berth.

And the way City have lit up the Cup, don’t discount a Blacktown fairytale. They blasted their way through the two previous rounds, crushing fellow PS4 NPL NSW clubs Sydney United 58 and Bonnyrigg White Eagles, scoring nine goals in the process.

What's more, we’ve seen some new Westfield FFA Cup superstars unearthed.

No-one will ever forget Danny Choi’s incredible 70-metre goal against Sydney United, or Patrick Antelmi’s stunning hat-trick in the same match.

It’s no wonder the pair are being linked to Hyundai A-League deals. With the likes of Joey Gibbs, Mitch Mallia, Travis Major, Sasa Macura and Zach Cairncross also in the squad, the Demons are daring to dream.

And why not after winning the PS4 NPL NSW grand final 3-0 against Mark Rudan’s United just over a week ago.

Hoping to burst the bubble of Mark Crittenden’s side is Sydney FC.

Graham Arnold’s troops have improved over the long pre-season and now have the chance to make the semis of the Cup for the first time ever.

Sydney FC

While they haven’t been at their dynamic best in the competition so far, the Sky Blues have done enough to dispose of Wollongong Wolves and two-time finalists Perth Glory in the West on the way to the last eight.

Theirs is quality right throughout the Sydney FC side. Marquee striker Bobo should be settled into his new surrounds by now, while the likes of Brosque, Holosko, Ninkovic and Carney possess a real goal threat.

The Sky Blues will start warm favourites, but if City get into their groove, this version of the Sydney Derby should be an absolute beauty.

Melbourne City FC v Western Sydney Wanderers FC

Wednesday 21 September 2016

AAMI Park, Melbourne 

Kick-off: 7:30pm local (7:30pm AEST)

Referee: Jarred Gillett

Assistant Referee 1: Luke Brennan

Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Brown

Fourth Official: Shaun Evans

Tickets: Click here for ticketing details

Online Broadcast: Streamed online at www.foxsports.com.au/football/ffa-cup/ffacupondemand and Apple TV via FOX SPORTS Now

Radio Broadcast: Hawkesbury Radio 89.9FM and online

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

Melbourne City

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, 22.Michael Jakobsen, 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

Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Jerrad Tyson (gk), 2.Shannon Cole, 4.Nikolai Topor-Stanley, 5.Brendan Hamill, 6.Mitch Nichols, 7.Steven Lustica, 8.Dimas Delgado, 9.Kerem Bulut, 10.Nicolás Martinez, 11.Brendon Santalab, 12.Scott Neville, 13.Bruno Piñtares, 14.Jumpei Kusukami, 15.Kearyn Baccus, 16.Jaushua Sotirio, 17.Aritz Borda, 18.Robert Cornthwaite, 19.Jacob Melling, 20.Andrew Redmayne (gk), 21.Jonathan Aspropotamitis

Bluffer’s Guide

Two of the favourites for the upcoming Hyundai A-League campaign get a chance to land an early psychological blow as well as take a giant stride towards the season’s first piece of silverware.

Add some star power with Tim Cahill and two attack-minded sides and we have a spicy contest to look forward to at AAMI Park.

City has been more workmanlike than wonderful in the Westfield FFA Cup so far, grinding out back-to-back 2-1 wins over Floreat Athena and Brisbane Strikers to make the last eight.

John van ‘t Schip’s side will need to go to a new level to beat the Wanderers.

But City has shown over the last 18 months that when they do click, they are almost unstoppable.

Any side with Cahill, Bruno Fornaroli, Luke Brattan and Anthony Caceres ensure they have the firepower to put any team to the sword.

The unknown remains just how – and if - JVS decides to use Cahill and Fornaroli together in attack.

A youthful City were on the end of a 4-0 drubbing by the Newcastle Jets in a pre-season friendly on Sunday but it will be a very different XI which takes the field on Wednesday night.

The Wanderers embarked on a nine-day tour of Japan to prepare for this clash and the season, as coach Tony Popovic tries to integrate his new faces into his side as quickly as possible.

The early signs have been encouraging with some impressive friendly performances to go with their goal sprees in the Cup so far.

Western Sydney Wanderers

Eight goals in their two previous matches (beating Wellington Phoenix and Edgeworth Eagles) re-enforced the Wanderers will again be one of the teams to watch in 2016/17.

They love to get the ball on the deck and pace through their opponents and the pristine surface at AAMI Park should be to their liking.

With so many options at his disposal, particularly in the front third, it will be interesting to see who Popovic uses from the start.

The exciting additions of Kerem Bulut, Nicolas Martinez and Jumpei Kusukami are a huge bonus for the side and their potential inclusions for this clash will only add to what should be a wonderful match. 

It’s difficult to pick a winner but with the likelihood of goals, drama and star talent, you won’t want to miss it.