The following are previews with betting tips for selected Round of 16 fixtures in the 2018 FFA Cup.
Tuesday, August 21
APIA Leichhardt Tigers vs Melbourne Victory
7:30 PM, Leichhardt Oval
Last game: A 47th minute strike to Tasuku Sekiya was enough to see APIA advance through to the next round after a 1-0 victory vs Port Melbourne Sharks SC. While the Victory also got through with a 1-0 win, however there’s was against A-League opposition in the form of Perth. And it was only a Barbarouses 38th minute strike that separated the two sides from one another. Melbourne’s tight victory was all the more impressive considering Berisha had moved to Japan and they were yet to have Honda. That while the Glory’s previous game had been preparing for the Victory against the EPL champions of two years ago in the form of Chelsea. A major positive for the Victory was Matthew Acton keeping a clean-sheet. That match helping to prove that he is a capable NO.2 to Lawrence Thomas.
Who’ll be victorious?: The Victory, without a doubt. If former Japanese international and ex-AC Milan player Honda makes his debut then no matter what period of time he’s on the field for, he’ll absolutely terrorize the Tigers defence. Even if he doesn’t make his debut for Melbourne that evening, the reigning A-League champs should still be far too strong for APIA. Their attack should produce goals and plenty of them. With Barbarouses and Antonis likely to feature strongly in that regard, you can expect the Victory to be victorious with a strong attack.
Best Bet: Pick Melbourne to win at $1.50 (Bet365)
Cairns FC vs Sydney FC
7:30 PM, Barlow Park
Last game: The Heat absolutely smashed Armadale 4-0. They put the ball through the back of the net in the 53rd, 68th, 79th and 91st minutes of the match. While last seasons FFA Cup winners found the goings tougher going down 1-0 to Rockdale before coming back to win 4-2 in a topsy-turvy affair. The Sky Blues goals came courtesy of a double to Alex Brosque, one to debutante Daniel De Silva in his first professional hitout for the club and one to defender Ben Warland. The Sky Blues played their last game away from home, while the Heat had the home-ground advantage in theirs. Can North Qld be strong enough and good enough to use this to their advantage? Sydney had plenty of shots against Rockdale showing that new head coach Steve Corica can lead a good offence just the way former boss Graham Arnold could.
Who’ll be victorious?: Last years FFA Cup winners and if all goes to plan it shouldn’t even be close. Sydney were maybe a bit lucky that the end margin wasn’t closer last round. However they should be fully prepared for their minnow opposition this time around. With Brosque’s double under his belt, De Silva showing why he was so highly touted as a youngster and a slightly-changed defence showing what their capable of, expect the Sky Blues to put on a real show in this one.
Wednesday, August 29
Melbourne City vs Newcastle Jets
7:30 PM, AAMI Park
Last game: Both teams escaped with narrow, possibly un-deserved victories. For City they scored with quite literally the last play of the game through Bruno Fornaroli in the 120th minute of the match. While the Jets only beat the Gold Coast FC Knights FC with a goal in the 11th minute of the match through Nick Topor-Stanley. However this game is a replay of last seasons tight finals game. In that match Newcastle eliminated Melbourne to book themselves a Grand Final berth with a 2-1 victory. And it was 1-all up until Jason Hoffman’s 75th minute match-winner. City lost the game despite having 56% possession. While both teams shot shockingly with the Jets being 3/12 and City 1/4.
Who’ll be victorious?: Expect a tightly contested match-up, similar to that of last campaigns finals game. However this time around you can expect it to be Melbourne City with their names on the winners list. Fornaroli loves a goal (46/63 games), while Dario Vidosic is strong whenever he has the ball close to the net as well. Being led by their captain and the former-Soceroo, they should be just a bit better than Newcastle. Plus if that wasn’t enough to get them the W, atoning for last campaigns season-ending defeat should prove to be some pretty good motivation as well. Expect Melbourne to come through with the victory.
Best Bet: Pick City to win at $2.10 (Bet365)
Lions FC vs Adelaide United
7:30 PM, Perry Park
Last game: An 87th minute winner via Carter Glockner saw the Lions advance past Olympic FC 3-2 in what was a close, close game. While Adelaide who were last seasons FFA Cup runner up’s put a score on the Central Coast winning 3-0. Their goals game through Jordan Elsey (12th minute), Mirko Boland only seven minutes later and Craig Goodwin (53rd minute). Paul Izzo keeping a clean-sheet against his former club was a very good sign as well. And he could be crucial here given the Lions can clearly score goals in the Cup? Marco Kurz deployed three men in the midfield against the Mariners and it worked a treat. With all three men having specific skill-sets it worked well and if done again should yield a similar result against the Lions.
Who’ll be victorious?: Adelaide, but it won’t stop the Lions from trying. While you can expect a spirited performance from the underdogs, Adelaide are too good and too talented across the park to suffer a defeat to a side such as the one they are facing in this match-up. Kurz always has his men tactically well setup and that shouldn’t change for this game. Expect Adelaide to flaunt their capabilities in attack, but also prove their worth defensively. While if recent signing Ben Halloran features, that’ll definitely add to what Adelaide are looking to do on the field. The ex-Socceroo recently signed a deal with United, with his last club being V-Varen Nagasaki.
Best Bet: Pick Adelaide to win at $1.40 (TopBetta)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles vs Western Sydney Wanderers
7:30 PM, Marconi Stadium
Last game: Hakoah City East got one back in the 90th minute, but it was to little to late as Bonnyrigg got the desired 2-1 result and marched on through to the Round of 16. Their strikes came through Aaron Avery in the 19th minute of the match and then Asmir Kadric a little while later in the 80th minute. While for the Red & Black they escaped with a thoroughly entertaining 4-3 victory over Hellenic AC. A Daniel Smith OG and an Oriol Reira goal saw the Wanderers up 2-0 within the opening ten minutes of the game. However the minnows bought it back to 2-goals apiece. And it was a 92nd minute Roly Bonevacia goal that saw them escape with a closer than anticipated win.
Who’ll be victorious?: Western Sydney. Riera got his double against Hellenic FC, while Bonevacia will be buoyed by his late winner. Those two alone should absolutely terrorize the Eagles defence. However Western Sydney should be very stern at the back as well with the likes of Tarek Elrich (101 games for Adelaide and three for Australia) only able to get better and more acclimatized to his new but former club. The Red & Black might have only escaped with a tight victory over Hellenic FC but expect them to play so much better against Bonnyrigg.
Best Bet: Pick Western Sydney to win at $1.17 (TopBetta)