Melbourne City will look to become the first side to win an FFA Cup final away from home when they meet Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium tonight.
Since the tournament’s inception in 2014, the side playing at home in the final has a 100 per cent winning record – with both Adelaide and City having lifted the cup at their respective home grounds.
Despite this statistic it is Melbourne City who come in as the favourites after their bright start to the season under Erick Mombaerts, which includes a 2-1 win over Adelaide at AAMI Park.
But striker Jamie Maclaren expects a different game to their most previous meeting, with both managers predicted to make several changes to their respective teams.
“We’re happy with [Sunday’s] win…but you’ll probably see two different [starting] elevens, probably the two strongest elevens, they rested some players and we did too,” he said.
“It’ll be interesting, we’ve had some good results there and it’s a cup final anything can happen and the boys are going to go gung-ho and we’ll be no different.
The last time the two sides met at Hindmarsh Stadium was in last season’s Elimination Final which saw Ben Halloran net a 119th minute winner to knock-out City out of the finals series.
According to Maclaren, the side has put this result “behind [them]” and believes the new system under Erick Mombaerts gives the side every opportunity for success.
“It’s not easy it’s a tough place to go to,” Maclaren said.
“We’ve been knocked out last season there in the finals series, but we’ve put that at the back of our minds we’ll just go out there and play our game.
“We’re a whole new team with a whole new style and going home or away, we’ll play our style and playing on the front foot.”
The 26-year-old scored a brace in last Sunday’s win and has scored in every one of City’s FFA Cup matches so far.
Signing last season in January, Maclaren has returned to goal scoring form in 2019 having scored 12 goals in his last seven matches – including four international goals, which he credits to his teammates and completing a full pre-season.
“When you’re in a rich vein of form you do enjoy the moments but I’ve got to keep getting in these positions for my teammates, whether its Socceroos or Melbourne City they always create chances for me and I’ve always got to be on my toes,” Maclaren said.
“I’ve said it before in last two years I’ve had the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, they actually took a toll on me without a full pre-season and I was able to get six weeks off and really sort the back out because it was an issue last year.
“This pre-season has been great and I’m in form there and there’s no surprise because I had a good pre-season.”