This week’s FFA Cup action will get fans excited about the start of the A-League season, with two mouth-watering clashes.
On Friday night, NPL Victoria side Bentleigh Greens will host Adelaide United at Kingston Heath, while on Saturday night another instalment of the Sydney Derby will take place at Penrith Stadium.
It will be Bentleigh’s second appearance in the FFA Cup semi-final, with their 2014 clash with Perth Glory attracting a sell-out crowd and highlighting just what the FFA Cup brings to Australian football.
Another capacity crowd is looming for Friday night, as Bentleigh aim to become the first non-A-League side to reach the FFA Cup final.
The Greens are well prepared for their match, having finished 2nd in this years NPL Victoria season. They were dramatically eliminated by Avondale FC in the semi-final, and defeated Heidelberg United in the FFA Cup quarter-final to reach this stage.
Adelaide United on the other hand have beaten the Central Coast Mariners, Lions FC and APIA Leichhardt in this year’s FFA Cup.
While Adelaide may be the favourite, Bentleigh have what it takes to cause an upset, having had a full season behind their back.
Saturday night will see Penrith Stadium host its first ever Sydney Derby.
The Wanderers have defeated Hellenic Athletic, Bonnyrigg White Eagles and Melbourne City to reach this stage, while Sydney FC proved too strong in the end for Rockdale City Suns, Cairns FC and Avondale FC, surviving scares in all three matches.
It is difficult to predict who will win this clash, with the Wanderers’ home crowd possibly being a factor.
A sell-out crowd is also expected for what will be the first of two Sydney derbies this month.
Both matches will make for a fascinating weekend and will get fans excited for the beginning of the A-League season, which kicks-off Friday 19 October. We may well also see the ‘magic of the cup’ occur yet again.