There will be a first-time winner of the Westfield FFA Cup on November 30 as Melbourne City and Sydney FC contest their first final in the knockout competition next week.
The two are in excellent form in the Hyundai A-League, meaning the AAMI Park decider could go either way.
Today we look at five reasons why we think City can land the club’s first-ever piece of silverware and keep the Cup in Melbourne for another year after Victory's win at the same venue 12 months ago.
5: Playing at home
While it’s only a small sample size, Sydney FC will need to defy history if they are to topple Melbourne City. In both of the previous Westfield FFA Cup deciders, the home side has won. A midweek final means not many Sydney fans will be able to travel ensuring a parochial home crowd getting right behind John van ‘t Schip’s side.
4: AAMI Park is Bruno’s playground
While fabulous Fornaroli is a threat wherever he plays, his strike-rate at City’s home ground is simply phenomenal. In 18 matches at the venue, the classy Uruguayan has scored an astonishing 20 goals. That includes a memorable hat-trick against the Sky Blues the last time the two sides met at AAMI towards the end of last season. If Bruno fires, City should win.
3: The wide men
Wingers Fernando Brandan and Bruce Kamau have been electric this season. Their speed, energy and positive approach has lifted City to great heights and poses a threat to any defence. If the duo are “on” in the final, it might just give the home side the edge. They loom as City’s X Factor.
2: The Timmy factor
Has there even been a better big-game player in Australian football than Cahill? The legendary Caltex Socceroo knows how to get it done when it counts and this is his kind of stage. He played in an FA Cup final with Millwall back in 2004 – a defeat against Manchester United – but this is his chance to put things right and win a medal in club football.
His quality, composure and experience should also allow those around him to remain calm when temperatures inevitably rise.
It’s been a remarkable transformation of the club since The City Football Group took the reins, making them one of the biggest and powerful clubs in the country. But it’s winning trophies which is a mark of success and – as yet – City’s cabinet is empty and waiting to be filled.
The club demands success and the players are ready to deliver and will believe it’s the destiny to make it happen now.