The following is a preview with betting tips for the 2018 FFA Cup final between Adelaide United and Sydney FC. The game kicks off at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, October 30.
Adelaide United vs. Sydney FC
7:30 PM, Coopers Stadium
Last Game: Round One of the A-League opened when these two sides battled to a tight 1-all draw at Hindmarsh Stadium on a fine Friday evening. Adelaide struck the first blow through Scott Galloway on the stroke of half-time and gave Adelaide the ascendancy heading into the second-half. However it wasn’t to be as the Sky Blues snatched a point via an Adam Le Fondre strike in the 78th minute. Possession wise it was pretty evenly split just like the result as Adelaide had 47% of the ball and Sydney 53%. United saw 3/8 shots go on target and the Sky Blues 3/9. Again highlighting how truly close this enthralling contest was, Marco Kurz’s men completed 77% of their passes (363/472) and Steve Corica’s side did so at an 81% completion rate (438/542). Adelaide made 15 tackles to Sydney’s 11. However one slightly differing statistic to come out of the game was that Adelaide conceded only one yellow card. However FC gave away four.
Key Players: For the home side in the form of Adelaide, their key player to winning this game will be Paul Izzo. The former Central Coast Mariner is somewhat of an underrated goal keeper in the A-League, but on his day he is capable of matching it with the very best. There’s a reason he was so highly rated as a youngster and represented Australia’s U’23s side six times. He is at the very heart of a stoic Adelaide defence. Izzo is a major reason Adelaide have kept a clean sheet in each of their four FFA Cup games to date, while in their last game vs Bentleigh he won both of his duels. And in his last A-League game against the Sky Blues he won his only duel. In addition to that, 14 times in total last season he contributed to an Adelaide side that gave up one or less strikes in a match. His ability to make athletic saves will be key against a side that can count on all of Ninkovic, Le Fondre and Brosque as reliable goal-scorers among others.
Now to the away side. There’s no more Bobo to pull it out in the clutch, nor is there an Adrian or a pacey Buhagiar. However Milos Ninkovic still exists and the Serbian superstar will come to play. In the 2017/18 campaign he bagged six goals and created a massive 41 shot assists. And the season before that he scored 11 and had nine assists next to his name. The former Red Star Belgrade man is one of the best players in the A-League and will show that again next Wednesday night. He is the man to lead Sydney to glory, especially so in the absence of departed and injured players. His linkup play with men such as Le Fondre will be crucial to ensuring that Sydney make the most of their potential goal-scoring opportunities. As a stingy Adelaide defence could potentially mean that those chances are far and few between. He knows what he has to do to deliver Sydney their second consecutive FFA Cup Trophy. If it happens, he’l have been a massive part of it.
The Last Final: When these two sides met in the last edition of the FFA Cup Final, it was one hell of a match to remember at Allianz Stadium. Ninkovic drew first blood in the 19th minute. And a ball was not put into the back of a net again until the 67th minute when Mileusnic evened things up for Adelaide. Cometh extra-time and it was Sydney legend Bobo who won it for the Sky Blues with an absolutely clutch strike in the 111th minute of the game. However this match wasn’t without it’s controversy as a Sydney ball boy late in the game refused to give the ball to Adelaide. Long story short. Marrone was red carded and Adelaide were fuming. Despite that otherwise questionable act by the ball boy, it was a simply perfect game of Football and one for the history books. Adrian was Man of the Match and the trophy was one of two Sydney would claim that season, the other being the Minor Premiership.
Who’ll Be Victorious: Adelaide are very good, there’s no doubt about it But Sydney are the reigning cup holders as well as the reigning Minor Premiers. Sydney will be playing in their third final and in as many years and deservedly will start as favourites. This match has the potential to reach extra-time again, however it will be the Sky Blues who will be victorious. The major difference between these two sides is that when push comes to shove, Sydney have several legitimate goal-scoring threats within their side. The opposition in the form of Adelaide only really have Craig Goodwin to rely on and as good as he is, he won’t be able to do it by himself. Adelaide’s notorious defence will keep them in the game, but Sydney’s raw star-power will win it for them (GD of +42 last campaign).
Pick the Sky Blues to score and find the back of the net first at $1.90 (Neds)
Pick both teams to score at $1.75 (Neds)