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2015 FFA Cup Matchday One Preview

FFACup_GenericTonight marks the kickoff of the second annual FFA Cup, and with it games between eight of the best NPL clubs throughout the country.

Each club has worked their way through their neighbouring rivals to earn their place in the Round of 32, to be broadcasted live and exclusive on FOX Sports from 7.30pm AEST as well as streamed live online on foxsports.com.au or via the Fox Sports Now app on Apple TV.

Intriguingly Matchday One of the Round of 32 sees three NPL Victoria teams in Action. Brisbane Strikers and Palm Beach return to the national stage against two of these sides in a distinct Victoria vs Queensland flavour for the round.

Elsewhere Blacktown City and Broadmeadow Magic will be looking to go one step further than last year against newcomers in the form of Heidelberg United and 2014 NPL champions Metrostars.

Form can count for nothing as the losing sides will be knocked out of the FFA Cup competition, with extra-time and penalties a definite if your side can only muster to draw after 90 minutes.

Palm Beach Sharks v South Melbourne

The Breakdown: It’s been a long time since we’ve seen South Melbourne on the national stage despite repeated attempts at takeovers such as Melbourne City, and marks their first entrance into the national cup competition. Palm Beach however return after making the Quarter Finals last year, and will be looking for similar form. Former A-League players Milos Lujic and Jake Barker-Daish will both return to the spotlight, in the Blue and White of South Melbourne. Palm Beach sit in seventh in their conference whilst South Melbourne are comfortably placed third in NPL Victoria.

How they got there: Palm Beach defeated the Noosa Lions in Queensland, whilst South Melbourne thrashed Frankston 6-1 to qualify.

2014 FFA Cup Performance: Palm Beach – Quarter Finalists; South Melbourne – DNP.

Broadmeadow Magic v Heidelberg United

The Breakdown: Broadmeadow Magic make their return to the national round of 32 with arguably the most enviable record coming into the competition, smashing West Wallsend 13-0 in their semi final to qualify. However they go up against the dangerous Heidelberg United who sit second in NPL Victoria. They also have to contend with former A-League keeper Griffin McMaster in goals who will be doing his best to resist a Magic onslaught.

How they got there: Broadmeadow Magic defeated West Wallsend 13-0 to qualify whilst Heidelberg defeated Goulburn Valley Suns 5-1.

2014 FFA Cup Performance: Broadmeadow Magic – Round of 32; Heidelberg United – DNP.

Blacktown City v Metrostars SC

The Breakdown: Arguably the most mouth-watering clash in this inaugural matchday for the 2015 FFA Cup. The Metrostars were irresistible last season, taking home the NPL SA Conference as well as knocking over the Bonyrigg White Eagles to be crowned NPL Champions. But they face an equally challenging opponent in Blacktown City who are currently on a 12 game unbeaten run to sit top of NPL1 in New South Wales. With Mitch Mallia and Joey Gibbs on the books, Blacktown boast an attacking lineup, whilst Fabien Barbiero and Adam Van Dommele are the A-League alumni currently playing their trade for the South Australian club.

How they got there: Blacktown defeated Northern Tigers 6-0 to qualify, whilst Metrostars qualify by the virtue of being the 2014 NPL champions.

2014 FFA Cup Performance: Blacktown City – Round of 32; Metrostars SC – DNP.

Hume City v Brisbane Strikers

The Breakdown: The third Victorian team to take the stage in Matchday 1, Hume City will go into this match as underdogs against an experienced Brisbane Strikers lineup, despite boasting former Valencia prodigy Theo Markelis, ex-Victory player Petar Franjic and Jai Ingham. Jonti Richter will be looking to put a few past the Hume defence, and with the Strikers leading the way in NPL Queensland, Hume will have their backs to the walls despite home advantage. Last time out Brisbane beat Broadmeadow to qualify for the Round of 16, only to be stopped in their tracks by former NSL nemesis Adelaide City.G

How they got there: Hume City defeated Kingston 2-0 to qualify, whilst Brisbane Strikers won a goalfest 4-3 against Redlands United.

2014 FFA Cup Performance: Hume City – DNP; Brisbane Strikers – Round of 16.

About the author

avatarKris is a freelance sports journalist, a two-time WA media guild award winner, and podcast host and writer for Ultimate A-League.

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