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FFA Cup Preview: Victory, Roar go to WA

FFA Cup Preview: Victory, Roar go to WA

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With three former A-League champions in action, will another Goliath fall in the round of 32? And can the Sharks take a bite out of Lloyd Owusu's Bondi battlers?

Tuesday 19 August 

Hakoah Sydney City v Palm Beach Sharks (#HAKvPBS)

Venue: Hensley Athletics Field, Pagewood, Sydney

KO: 7.30pm (local)

Despite what is set to be cold and wet conditions in Sydney, Hensley Athletic Park will be at fever pitch as Hakoah Sydney City hope to revive the club's golden days when they host Queensland NPL powerhouse Palm Beach Sharks.

Playing in the third-tier in NSW, Hakoah are one of the lowest-ranked sides left in the FFA Cup but can't be underestimated and are capable of pulling off a shock.

Under their former guise as Sydney City, the club were once one of the powerhouses of the old NSL, winning four titles in the first decade of the national competition.

They have enjoyed some more success in the men's NSW State League 1 this season, wrapping up the title with weeks to spare.

Hakoah head into the clash on the back of a 0-0 draw with Western NSW Mariners on the weekend, the side's fourth draw in a row.

Former Sheffield Wednesday and Adelaide United striker Lloyd Owusu is the team's spearhead, but the likes of Jordan Mundell and Kevin Lopes have also been in strong form.

Like Hakoah, the Sharks secured their domestic title weeks ago and will be fresh for the trip to Sydney after their weekend's clash against Brisbane Roar NYL was postponed due to wet weather.

Christopher Lucas is the side's gun attacking weapon, having scored an astonishing 31 goals in just 20 appearances in the league this season.

Former Gold Coast United defender Kristian Rees is one to look out for in the visitors' line-up.

It promises to be a cracking tie in this NSW v Queensland match-up.

Stirling Lions v Brisbane Roar (#SLvBRI)

Venue: Western Australia Athletics Stadium, Perth

KO: 7.30pm (local) 9.30pm AEST

The reigning A-League champions make their debut in the FFA Cup with a tricky trip to Western Australia.

While it's a huge challenge for the hosts, they have found their best form at the right time of the year.

The Lions have won three of their last four matches including a last-gasp 2-1 victory over ECU Joondalup on the weekend thanks to goals from Robert Petkov and David Micevski.

In Micevski and Moses Kalau, Stirling have the firepower to trouble Mike Mulvey's side, while goalkeeper Aleks Vrteski provides some A-League experience.

They will need all that and more up against the Roar, who will be keen to add the national Cup competition to their league success of last season.

Despite the loss of star striker Besart Berisha, Roar have been scoring heavily in the pre-season, including an impressive 3-0 win over Redlands United in their last meaningful hit-out just under a fortnight ago.

Jean Carlos Solorzano bagged a brace and is likely to lead the attack again, while Dimitri Petratos got the other goal.

Wednesday 20 August

South Coast Wolves v Central Coast Mariners (#SCWvCCM)

Venue: WIN Stadium, Wollongong

KO: 7.30pm (local)

South Coast Wolves will fancy themselves to cause a Cup boilover when Central Coast Mariners come to town.

After a torrid season in the NSW NPL, a strong end to their local campaign means the Wollongong-based club is on the up and full of confidence.

Nahuel Arrarte's men have found their scoring boots of late, banging in nine goals in their last two matches including a 5-1 drubbing of APIA Leichhardt on Sunday.

Jordan Murray grabbed a brace while Mitchell Del Turco, Lachlan Reus and Darcy Madden also found the net to ensure they head into their Cup challenge in the best possible frame of mind.

While still early in their pre-season schedule, Phil Moss and his troops will undoubtedly provide a stern test for the Wolves.

One of the most consistent sides in the A-League over the past few seasons, a 4-1 win over the club's Academy side last week has been their only real hit-out for the club with goals from Eddy Bosnar, Glen Trifiro, Nick Fitzgerald and trialist Nick Petrillo.

Bayswater City v Melbourne Victory (#BWCvMVC)

Venue: Western Australia Athletics Stadium, Perth

KO: 7.30pm (local) 9.30pm AEST

Managed by former A-League defender Chris Coyne, Bayswater have assembled a mix of seasoned ex-pros and good young talent.

With Stirling Lions also in action this week, they are relishing the chance of having Western Australian NPL football in the spotlight.

Bayswater are currently leading the WA NPL by two points heading into next weekend's final round against fourth-placed Sorrento FC.

They put one hand on the title – and warmed up for Victory – with a solid 3-0 win over Floreat on the weekend thanks to goals from David Heagney, Gustavo Giron Marulanda and Brian Farrell.

Coyne will rely on his ex-A-League stars to lead the way, including his brother Jamie Coyne, Todd Howarth, Sam Mitchinson and Devon Spence, as well as ex-Ipswich player Steve Burton.

Victory have looked impressive in their early pre-season hit-outs and are well-prepared for an assault on the inaugural FFA Cup.

The club sent assistant coach Jean-Paul de Marigny across the Nullabor to watch Bayswater last month to ensure they leave nothing to chance.

New signings Besart Berisha, Carl Valeri and Matthieu Delpierre could all make their competitive debuts for the club in this one.

Delpierre was among the scorers in Victory's last match before Wednesday night, a 3-0 win over local NPL side Richmond SC.

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